Issued: 10:30am, Friday, 11th February 2022
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room (Situation Room) has convened in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to observe the Area Council Elections in the FCT scheduled for Saturday, 12th February 2022.
This election is the first election after the recently held Anambra State governorship election, which was mostly adjudged peaceful by several observers and stakeholders, it is expected that tomorrow’s elections in the FCT will improve upon the gains observed in the Anambra State governorship election 2021.
Situation Room acknowledges the assurance given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it is fully prepared for the election, assuring that there will be no inadequacy with logistics and deployment, and notes the assurance of the Police, as the lead agency on election security, that security personnel deployed for the elections are properly trained to conduct themselves professionally and within the civil rules of engagement.
Situation Room deployed accredited observers across the 6 Area Councils and will work with its partners and networks to observe and provide information from the field on all stages of the elections.
In the lead up to the elections, the political environment in the FCT is quite calm and peaceful except for pockets of tensions over the authentic chairmanship candidate of a political party in AMAC. Situation Room hopes that the environment will remain peaceful throughout and after the elections.
INEC and Election Administration
Situation Room having participated in several discussions held by INEC following the conclusion of the Anambra State governorship election, is hoping that the Commission will follow through on its commitment to enhancing its processes and systems for the elections particularly the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).
At this time, sensitive materials have been deployed and INEC has stated its deployment of 2,822 BVAS machines and 12,000 adhoc staff. Situation Room expects a much improvement on the logistics for this election considering this is a smaller terrain and registered voters of 1,373, 492.
Situation Room will be holding INEC accountable for its commitment and assurances of preparedness, and will look out for the following, as INEC administers the elections:
- Early distribution and deployment of personnel and materials
- Timely opening of poll
- Knowledge of election procedures and accreditation devices by poll officials
- Effectiveness of the BVAS
- Adherence to COVID-19 Protocols on Election day
- Transparent Collation process
- Transmission of polling unit results, particularly the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal.
The FCT Commissioner of Police has announced that adequate personnel will be deployed for the election and assured of professional behaviour by the operatives. Situation Room reiterates that all security agencies deployed on election duty should adhere to the directives of the Nigeria Police, as the lead agency on election security, and abide by the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Election Duty.
Situation Room will also watch out for hotspots identified by the Police, and call on the Force to document evidence of any violation of the Electoral Act to bring offenders to book.
Political Parties and Social Inclusion
Situation Room is concerned about the poor level of inclusion in these elections. In Abaji Area Council, not even a female or a person with disability (PWD) candidate is nominated by a political party for Chairmanship, Vice or Councillorship while only 3 female councillorship candidates were nominated in Kuje, and Kwali only 1 vice chairmanship candidate and 1 councillorship are female. In general, of the 475 candidates nominated by the 14 political parties participating in the 2022 FCT Area Council Elections, just 41 candidates comprised of 3 chairmanship candidates, 8 vice chairmanship candidates and 30 councillorship candidates are female. Situation Room notes that there is a PWD councillorship candidate in Karu Ward of AMAC.
We call on the political parties to play by the rules throughout the voting process and enjoin candidates and their supporters to uphold the principles of free, fair and credible elections. Situation Room further calls on political parties to provide a better environment for social inclusion in their nomination and party processes.
Situation Room wishes to remind FCT citizens and residents that participating in voting during an election is one way to make your voice heard. Therefore, the Situation Room enjoins all eligible voters in the FCT to peacefully come out tomorrow, Saturday, 12th February 2022 to elect the Council leaders of their Area
Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room
Co-Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room
Co-Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room
The Situation Room is made up of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria numbering more than seventy. The Steering Committee is made up of: Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), CLEEN Foundation, Action Aid Nigeria, Centre for Women and Adolescent Empowerment, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), African Centre for Entrepreneurship and Information Development (ACEIDEV), Justice Development and Peace Commission (JPDC) Nnewi, ASPILOS Foundation, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Mac-Jim Foundation, Kimpact Development Initiative, Democratic Action Group (DAG), Women’s Rights to Education Programme, EDO CSOs, Young Innovators and Vocational Training Initiative (YVITI), New Initiative for Social Development (NISD). Other groups are Centre LSD, CISLAC, WARD-C, Proactive Gender Initiative (PGI), Enough is Enough Nigeria, WANGONET, JDPC, YIAGA Africa, Development Dynamics, Partners West Africa Nigeria (PWAN), Stakeholder Democracy Network, Human Rights Monitor, Reclaim Naija, CITAD, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR,) Nigerian Women Trust Fund, The Albino Foundation, Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), Electoral Hub etc
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