The Independent National Electoral Commission’s National Commissioner for Plateau, Niger and FCT, Professor Antonia Simbene has disclosed that INEC is putting up peace advancing activities in Bayelsa and Kogi states to forestall violence in the forthcoming elections in the state.
Speaking to The Nation after a workshop to review the 2019 general elections in Minna, the National Commissioner said the activities are necessary because the Two states are known with high level of violence.
She said the Commission is concerned over the state of violence in these states and wants to ensure that the violence is minimal during the elections.
“We are expecting two difficult elections later this year in Kogi and Bayelsa states where we tend to be faced by election violence. In the case of one of the states, there are difficult terrains but in the other one, there is high level of violence and we are hoping to quell it before the elections.
“To this end, we are putting in place activities especially peace advancing activities to ensure that the kind of violence that we have experienced in the past do not come to play during the elections.”
Speaking on the Review of the 2019 elections, she said that the workshop is meant for internal assessment in order for the commission to know the things that worked and the things that did not work.
“There may be things we need to change and there may be things we need to sustain. We need to hear from our foot soldiers, the people who were actually in the field and know first hand the challenged they faced so that we can make improvement going forward.”
In his address, the Niger state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Samuel Egwu said INEC has adopted an electoral cycle approach adding that the Commission is in permanent preparation for elections, “Now, the end of one election is the beginning of another election. ”
He said the review meeting is an important exercise in terms of self-assessment, critical self-reflection and introspection on what has been done in the last from the internal point of view.”