A coalition of Civil Societies in Kano under the auspices of ‘Kano Civil Society Forum’ on Saturday, inaugurated what it called “The election situation room” for rapid response, monitoring, reporting and ensuring credible elections in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
The convener, Ambassador Ibrahim Waiya, stated that the 2023 situation room is a robust and an inclusive one which brings together all relevant stakeholders such as National Human Rights Commission to check human right abuses and violations, INEC, DSS, IPAC, Hisbah, other security and local intelligent agencies for a credible, free and fair election.
“The Situation Room is a collection of different stakeholders especially those saddled with the responsibilities of conducting credible elections.
This time around we are expanding and the essence is to serve as an engine room for supporting the conduct of the election generally to it is a success, credible and acceptable.
Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC Boss is aware of this initiative in Kano, I spoke with him personally and he authoritatively directed that the Commission be heavily represented at the situation room to check issues such as vote buying, rigging and so on which are corruption cases.
We hope to inform all agencies of live intelligence and critical information through reports provided by our representatives from the 44 local government areas of the State quick and timely actions”, he added.
According to Mr. Sunday Atiba who represented the EFC at the inauguration stated that “Democracy can not thrive without the CSOs”.
He said, a large section of the population depends on the CSOs for educative information to understand details about elections, governance and all its processes.
He charged the Civil Societies to have a rethink and involve themselves in the general process rather than waiting until the last stage.
“CSOs must learn to get involve in the process from the beginning rather than wait until the election period.
Waiting until election period is liking waiting at a bakery for a finished product which you don’t know what was mixed or added to your bread, but if you get involve from the unset, you will be able to influence the end product”, he added.
Furthermore, the Co-Convener and Executive Director, OCCEN Nigeria, Abdulrazak Alkali, in his remarks stated that the role of the Civil Societies in ensuring the success of election is partly shaped by the environment in which they are operating and by the traditional nature of their intervention, which is usually observation and reporting after the fact.
He further noted that the Situation Room will organize periodic meetings with INEC brief the Commission and make recommendations where necessary.