By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Acting National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Air Vice Marshall Ahmed Mu’azu, rtd, has solicited for the cooperation of the media in the task of ensuring a credible electoral process as a step towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.
AVM Mu’azu, rtd, made the appeal on Wednesday in Abuja in his remarks at the quarterly virtual consultative meeting with media executives at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.
The acting National Chairman also said that the Commission, will, as soon as arrangements are concluded for the continuous voter’s registration (CVR) rollout, make details available to stakeholders and the general public.
He described his emergence as the acting National Chairman of the electoral umpire as a very rare privilege and a weighty responsibility, expressing the hope that media practitioners and INEC will all work together in the continuing efforts to ensure a credible electoral process as a step towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.
The acting INEC Chairman said, “As you are all aware, the tenure of the Chairman INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu ended two days ago, (9th Nov. 2020).
“You are also aware that Mr. President had appointed him for a second term of 5 years, subject to and confirmation by the Senate.
“In the interim, I have been tasked with coordinating the affairs of the Commission. This is a very rare privilege and a weighty responsibility.
“I hope that we will all work together in our continuing efforts to ensure a credible electoral process as a step towards deepening democracy in Nigeria”, he said.
Speaking on the recently conducted Edo and Ondo States’ governorship elections, Mu’azu said, “the Commission must place on record, the tireless and sustained campaign by the media against electoral violence, before, during and after the elections.
“That level of campaign was unprecedented in our recent electoral history.
“The media, not only kept the imperative of peaceful election in the ‘front burner’ but also kept the spotlight on all political parties and their candidates throughout these elections.
“The Commission acknowledges this positive contribution and looks forward to improved partnership and support, as we continue our collective strides towards the consolidation of credible elections and our democracy as a whole”, he said.
Speaking on the issue of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), the acting INEC Chairman said, “the Commission intends to roll out nationwide programme in the 1st quarter of 2021.
“The Commission announced this at the National Assembly about a week ago at the 2021 Senate and House Budget Defence Hearings.
“Work is in progress at the Commission towards that goal.
“The Commission, will, as soon as arrangements are concluded for the CVR rollout, make details available to stakeholders and the general public”, he stated.