Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Emeka Ihedioha, has appealed to the United Nations for financial support to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission to successfully conduct the 2015 elections in the country.
The Deputy Speaker made the appeal when a delegation of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs paid a courtesy visit to the House, bordering on the on-coming elections in the country.
The UN delegation was led by Mr. Tadjoudine Ali-Diabacte, Deputy Director, UN’s Department of Political Affairs (Electoral Assistance Division).
Ihedioha, who observed that the recommendation made by the INEC in the 2014 budget for the conduct of elections this year and next year was inadequate, called on the UN to aid the Commission financially to enable the electoral body conduct free and fair elections.
He said:” the budgetary recommendation made by the Chairman of INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega, appears insufficient; therefore the request made by the INEC chairman for UN’s financial request is in order. We would appreciate UN’s financial assistance towards boosting our electoral process”.
He noted that the House Constitution Review Panel, which he chairs, reviewed section 202 of the constitution thereby transferring the power to conduct local council elections from the State Independent Electoral Commission to INEC, to deepen democracy and ensure that councils’ elections are conducted in fair and free manner.
He further sought UN assistance towards ensuring an improvement in the nation’s electoral process, stability of the polity and consolidation of democracy.
Head of the UN’s delegation, Ali-Diabacte noted that their visit was predicated on the need to get parliamentary input on how UN would assist the country to ensure a better election in 2015 based on the request made by INEC, Prof Jega.
He expressed the willingness of the world body towards supporting next year’s election in Nigeria, observing that the success of democracy in Nigeria would impact positively on other African nation.