Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Registered political parties under the auspices of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has expressed supports for the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) new policy on conducting elections in the country in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement issued by the group which was signed by the National Chairman of African Action Congress (AAC), Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, described the new measure outlined recently by INEC to conduct elections in the context of the pandemic as being “realistic, exhaustive, health-sensitive and in tune with reality of the time.”
In the statement, the parties said: “Coronavirus scourge has altered the country’s political horizon with its health, social and financial implications, making the use of electronic voting imperative. The council commends the electoral umpire for agreeing to use electoral voting machine in 2021 polls on a pilot scale.”
According to Nzenwa, IPAC has been in the vanguard for the use of electronic voting system in conducting elections in Nigeria which will assure free, fair, credible, transparent, acceptable and peaceful polls.
He said IPAC welcomed INEC plan to experiment on e-voting in 2021 in major elections, adding that it is a giant step forward in the country’s political process.
“The exigency of the moment has made it imperative for INEC to receive political parties’ nomination forms for Edo and Ondo State governorship elections online in compliance with various established coronavirus preventive protocols such as social distancing.
“Being a new political framework, the need for effective voter education by INEC, political parties, civil society organisations and media cannot be overemphasised as the electorate will be required to wear face masks and adhere to personal hygiene and social distancing,” he said.