The Transition Monitoring Group has decried what it says is the total lack of gender balance in the nominations of 29 Resident Electoral Commissioners for INEC by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group stated that “only two women nominations out of the 29 RECs, is a far cry from the required 35% affirmative action, pledged in the National Gender Policy towards gender integration in public life in the country.
“This singular act goes a long way to undermine the progress made so far in engendering women’s participation in electoral processes and democracy”, it said.
TMG in a statement on Monday by its Chairperson, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, and signed by Olusola Babalola, TMG Programs Officer, emphasises that the absence of women on the management and decision making structure of the commission could have far reaching implications for the participation of women in future elections as key processes and reforms within the commission might not adequately capture or reflect any considerations for women.
She added, that it is not too late to correct the and called on the Presidency to take the necessary steps to immediately address the situation.
Dr Akiyode-Afolabi however, welcomed the nomination of the RECs as a laudable and necessary step towards putting in place the necessary structures for the 2019 general elections.
The group called for a “thorough and transparent screening process to ensure that persons of questionable characters or politically exposed persons do not find their way into the commission and undermine the progress the commission has made in recent times in getting the right personnel for managing elections and its independence”.
Dr. Akiyode-Afolabi further expressed concern about issues relating to the parameters for nominating persons for such position.
According to her, “It is important that nominations are not left at the prerogative of chief executives of states or other considerations where the allegiance of its beneficiaries are not to a transparent and credible electoral management process but to the biddings of their benefactors”.
TMG also called for a timely consideration and conclusion of the much-needed reforms in the constitution and electoral act as regards the conduct of elections as “we approach the 2019 general elections. This will enable all stakeholders including political parties to internalise the new provisions and prepare adequately for the elections”.
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