The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) had urged the Federal Government to declare a public holiday to allow Nigerians collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) for the 2015 general elections.
The Chairman of the council, Yunusa Tanko, made the request on Tuesday at a consultative meeting between political parties and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He also advised the commission to let Nigerians know the day to day collection rate of PVCs.
The INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, used the chance to assure the political parties that the commission was confident that it could overcome the challenge posed by the collection of PVCs before the elections.
He said that collection of the PVC was on course and urged Nigerians yet to collect their cards to visit INEC’s offices in the council headquarters for collections.
The commission has experienced hitches in the distribution of the PVC, with some persons calling for the postponement of the election to enable electorates collect their cards before the election begins in few weeks.
The Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to adequately fund registered political parties in Nigeria to enable them participate actively in the election process.
The council also called on politicians not to overheat the polity by making inflammatory statements, but to make their campaigns issue based.
National Chairman of the Council, Mr Yunusa Tanko, made the appeal in Kaduna, the Kaduna state, North West Nigeria, during a one day retreat on Promoting Peaceful Elections Through Enforcement of the Political Parties Code of Conduct.
He said without funding of political parties by INEC, there is no way Nigeria can get its electoral system right, adding that effective funding of political parties will eliminate all forms of election malpractices, god fatherism and also enthrone a healthy competition in the polity.
He also appealed to the National Assembly to make appropriation that would enhance the survival of political parties in the present democratic dispensation.
The retreat, organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is aimed at sensitizing political parties and their members on how they should conduct themselves during the electioneering processes and next year’s election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has urged political parties in Nigeria to educate their election monitoring agents on current electoral practices to ensure credible polls in 2015.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, told journalists at a training session for party agents that agents who are informed about electoral process help authenticate the outcome of elections.
Speaking to Channels Television afterwards, Professor Jega said; “For party agents to be able to discharge these responsibilities, they need to be properly and adequately trained and as INEC we believe that our vision will be to train master trainers for political parties so that they can go back and train and have very credible agents who are knowledgeable about the electoral process and who would be able to play a good role for the parties they represent.”
This submission was shared by the Electoral Institute and the Inter-Party Advisory Council who noted that party agents in Nigeria were yet to understand their statutory roles during elections.
The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Abubakar Momoh, said; “Our little knowledge and the short political history of the country show that some of these party agents do not seem to understand their statutory role and ethical best practices in term of what is expected of them when they go to polling units.
“What we are trying to do in INEC is to go to this 3-day training to equip them and introduce the various technical issues involved with being a party agent at a polling unit.”
The Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yunusa Tanko, added that it was one of the major factors needed towards achieving credible elections.
“The agent has a very serious, important and critical role to play in electioneering. Once he has the right materials and the training, he will give paid to the election that has taken place, thereby knowing exactly what the procedures are,” he said.
The Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC, has described the composition, structure and membership of the planned National Dialogue, as recommended by the Presidential Advisory Committee as lopsided.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Chairman of the council, Mr. Yunusa Tanko, said that the exclusion of political parties from the dialogue is an aberration that should not be allowed to stand.
“The political parties are going to talk about how they feel the country should be governed, especially as it concerns their own political agenda, but by the time you alienate them out of that particular process, you make a decision without their own input, they will only come and juxtapose whatever position you must have taken”, he said.
He added that political parties are the major drivers and custodians of any democratic process and should therefore be part of the process of a National Dialogue.
“When right from the beginning they are part of the agreement, and they sign to that particular document, it makes it more binding on Nigerians and those who are intended to execute the document”, he concluded.
The Chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Yunusa Tanko, has called on the warring factions on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to explore the Conflict Resolution Mechanism within the party to resolve the ongoing crisis within the party
Tanko gave this advice in Abuja after the Second Executive Meeting of the council.
The council says there is a great need for political parties to observe strict internal democracy in accordance with the constitution, the electoral act and their party constitutions.
It will be recalled that a faction led by former Acting National Chairman, Abubakra Baraje, stormed out of the venue of the the party’s Special National Convention to form a parallel party with the support of seven governors and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.