The Electoral Forum, a civil society-led initiative aimed at reforming the nation’s electoral process, has called on anti-corruption agencies such as ICPC and EFCC to be fully involved in monitoring campaigns of political parties, especially on financing and other to prevent vote-trading ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group also urged the media to beam its spotlight more on policy-based campaigns by candidates and political parties.
These formed part of the recommendations of the Electoral Forum during its Seventh Technical Session held recently.
In a statement signed by Chairman of the Forum, Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, it charged political parties and candidates to focus on real issues confronting the country with facts and figures, and ensure that messages passed during campaigns are violence-free and impact positively on the audience. The Forum stressed the need for issue-based campaigns.
The Forum observed said that politicians have failed to adhere to the timetable for the commencement of campaigns which is the 28th of September 2022, as campaigns seem to be ongoing, especially on social media.
The Forum also emphasised the importance of security in the electoral process, noting that peaceful and credible elections can only be possible through close collaboration between INEC and security agencies in view of the preponderance of numerous challenges which include but are not limited to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, communal clashes, etc.
Members of the Forum present at the meeting were: Professor Adele Jinadu, former NEC Federal Commissioner; Hajia Amina Zakari, former INEC National Commissioner and Acting Chairperson; Professor Antonia Taye Simbine, DG, NISER, and former INEC National Commissioner; Kassim Gaidam, former INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Adamawa State; Gloria Ukpong, former Chairperson Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission; and Hannatu Biniyat Usman, former Chairperson KADSIECOM.
Others include Ademola E. Johnson, former INEC Deputy Secretary; Okechukwu Ndeche; and Alhaji Lawal Isa Wase, former INEC Directors, Mike Asukwo of Business Day, and Everest Amaefule formerly of The Punch Newspapers as well as Professor Olatunde Babawale, Provost, Anti-corruption Academy, and LASIEC Commissioner.