Abuja - The United States urged the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible elections in 2015.
United States Ambassador, James Entwistle, restated his
country's commitment to such polls in Abuja at a workshop jointly organized by
the United States Embassy and INEC on “The Role of INEC Press Officers:
Enhancing Good Governance Through Media and Grassroots Outreach.”
Derwin Johnson, an independent senior communications
consultant from the United States with more than 30 years’ experience, is
conducting the hands-on training.
Entwistle reminded INEC Public Affairs Officer they had
the vital task of creating an informed electorate that knows what it needs to
do to cast the ballot.
He said their training was important because the officer
helped shape public knowledge and perceptions about elections and the debate
process and provide crucial information on voters’ rights and the voter
“We support an election process that protects the rights
of Nigerians to use the ballot box to reflect the views and concerns of their
communities—a process that helps produce a stable, democratic government
regardless of which candidate wins,” he said.
He said that the United States supported a free,
credible, inclusive, and peaceful electoral process in which democratic
principles were adhered to by all parties, candidates, and institutions.
“This process encompasses all stages in the run-up to
elections, including preparation of voter rolls, running campaigns, conducting
the actual election, and handling any problems immediately afterwards,” the
INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, said the workshop
resonated with the commission’s thoughts on ways to reach out and educate a
majority of the illiterate rural population on the electoral process, using
different strategies and platforms.
He commended the United States government for the
training support and said as INEC prepared for the 2015 elections, it was eager
to improve the capacity of its staff.
The training of officers coincided with some parties
doubting INEC's capacity to conduct credible governorship elections polls in
Osun State in August.
- CAJ News
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