INEC Has Been Captured – YIAGA Africa Declares, Says Body Is Threat To Democracy

INEC Has Been Captured – YIAGA Africa Declares, Says Body Is Threat To Democracy

YIAGA Africa, a Nigerian civic organization focused on promoting democracy, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of being a danger to democracy under the current leadership of Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

During a conference organized by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in Abuja on Tuesday, Samson Itodo, Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, criticized INEC officials for their conduct during the country’s recent general election. According to Itodo, this conduct is a proof that the electoral umpire has been compromised and is incapable of conducting credible elections.

Itodo pointed out that the policy-making process, procurement system, and operational system of the electoral commission had been captured, which posed a threat to democracy, as seen in the 2023 elections.

He emphasized that an electoral commission dominated by politicians with compromised records was unacceptable, and as a people, they must stand up and say enough was enough.

Itodo added that a captured INEC would not be able to deliver a credible election if the managers of the political system were people who were aligned with political parties.

He further cited examples of places like Adamawa, Sokoto, and Abia, where the situation demonstrated the threat of a captured electoral commission.

While he acknowledged that INEC responded and took some actions, he stressed that a captured INEC was still a threat to democracy.

Moreover, Itodo highlighted that credible elections required more than technology, adding that while technology could certainly help, the principles of integrity were equally important.

He noted that the human factor, not technology, led to the failure of the 2023 elections, explaining that even with the best technology, if human beings were compromised and determined to subvert the process, credible elections were not possible.

In conclusion, Itodo called on everyone to work together to ensure that the electoral commission was free from capture, and that the principles of integrity were upheld during elections. He emphasized that only then could they have truly credible elections and safeguard their democracy.

His words read: “If you have an election whose policy making process has been captured, its procurement system has been captured, an electoral commission whose operational system has been captured does pose a threat to democracy; that is what we saw in the 2023 elections.

“You cannot have an electoral commission whose appointees are dominated by politicians, people who have tinted and compromised records… as a people we have to rise at this critical moment to say enough is enough. This capture of the electoral commission I don’t know how INEC will be able to deliver a credible election if the managers of our political system are people who are aligned with political parties, you will not have a credible election in the circumstances.

“This is what happened in places like Adamawa, Sokoto, Abia, good that INEC responds and took some actions, but I think it is important to note that a captured INEC is a threat to democracy.

“Another issue is that we need more than technology to deliver credible elections, we need the principles of integrity to deliver credible elections. Technology did not fail in the 2003 elections, what failed is the human factor. So, we can have the best of Technology, if we have human beings who are compromised, human beings who are determined to subvert the process there is no way technology will deliver credible elections.”