Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Elections, Not A Do Or Die Affair, INEC Tells Politician

Ahead of February general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has warned politicians against seeing the process as a do or die, urging them to see elections as a means to an end and not an end in themselves.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairperson of its Election and Party Monitoring Committee, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine gave the charge Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop on Leadership and Conflict Management Skills for Electoral Stakeholders organized by the European Centre for Electoral Support ECES.

“Elections and electoral processes are by nature conflictual, fraught with several challenges that often test the skills of staff of Election Management Bodies EMBs.

This is particularly so in developing democracies where elections are at times perceived as warfare that must be won at all costs. Indeed, a cursory examination of the typical electoral cycle reveals that every phase is fraught with both potential and real dangers.

“Election which is supposed to be a means to an end, that is, good governance is often seen as an end in itself. So much contestation surrounds our elections with little or scant respect for rule of law and due process”, she lamented. She charged electoral officials to improve on their conflict management skills and the need to “be able to document what happened, how it happened and how you got yourself to a situation where a fracas began.

You need to know how to report and analyse what happened from the cause of the problem to the steps you took to manage the situation”.