Election stakeholders have condemned the N125 allegedly spent by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) on the recently concluded 2015 general polls.
The stakeholders who gathered in Abuja today to take a look at the conduct of the 2015 general elections in the country, called for a reduction in the cost of conducting election in the country henceforth due to the economic meltdown that the country is experiencing.
Speaking at a public presentation of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) final report on the 2015 election, Samson Itodo, the head of Research, Policy and Advocacy of the Youth Initiative for advocacy growth and advancement (YIAGA) said that although the INEC intends to make the report on the election funding public next week, election stakeholders are deeply concerned about the huge fund expended.
“We all know that election is a very expensive activity especially in a country like Nigeria that has a very high electoral demography and a vast population; however there is a need for us as a nation to cut down the cost of running elections”
“Nigeria as a country cannot continue spending that much on election, INEC have to devise means to cut down the cost
“The country cannot be procuring electoral equipments every time the country have to embark on election, it is frivolous
“INEC spent huge amount of money for the recruitment of ad-hoc staffs for the election, that is quite understandable, I think Nigerians too should be able to make some sacrifices, we need to have volunteers that will assist INEC during elections, this will go a long way in cutting the cost of election in the country” he said.
He also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the appointment of the next INEC Chairman as a matter of great importance.
“If there is anything that the President should be greatly concerned about at the moment, it is the appointment of a very credible person to head the INEC
“Buhari should not bring another character like Iwu or any person that will come and tarnish the good image that the outgoing Chairman, Attahiru Jega has laboured to provide, Nigerians need a person with high integrity to pilot the affairs of INEC in years to come,” he added.
The deputy country director of the Mac Arthur Foundation, Oladayo Olaide who also spoke at the session, expressed great concern about the future of elections in the country
The TMG Chairman, Ibrahim Zikirullahi who presented the report, advised INEC to improve on the technical aspects of its activities in future elections.