European Centre prepares South-East INEC for 2019 election

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The European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) says it is training over 100 Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) staff in the South-East on Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC).

Declaring the workshop open on Thursday in Enugu, the Senior Legal Expert of ECES, Ms Maria-Teresa Mauro, said the aim of the EMSC workshop was to enshrine credible, free and fair elections.

Mauro said that EMSC was an effective tool INEC required to manage field assets, resources, constituencies and a chain of electoral activities needed in the organization of elections.

According to her, it is also an innovative way to monitor electoral plans and implementation of electoral activities that could assist INEC in evaluating its readiness for an election and assist accordingly.

“The workshop goals include to provide better understanding of the EMSC concept, goals and objectives, ensure better understanding of timeliness, activities and reporting frequencies.

“To sensitize implementers on ESMC operational structure, roles and responsibilities in the management of state EMSC secretariat,’’ she said.

The ECES officer said it would also build capacity of implementers on the use of data collection and reporting tools, validation process and general usage of EMSC platform.

Mauro noted that the workshop would provide participants with requisite knowledge and sensitize them on their expected roles before, during and after elections, thereby laying a solid foundation towards the conduct of credible elections in 2019.

In an address, the Secretary of the center, Mr Jameel Elyaqub, explained that the EMSC indicators were meant to assist task owners and managers as well as supervisors to monitor and track compliance, election readiness, performance and threats/risks to election plan.

He said that the exercise was to maintain the quality and credibility of the electoral processes.

In his goodwill message, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Enugu State, urged participants to utilize the gains of the training during the general elections.

“We have very experienced staff in INEC, however, there is a danger because of the multiple innovation introduced by INEC headquarters already.

“So, due to new innovations, we must open our minds to absorb these fresh ideas.

“We cannot keep recycling our old ways of doing things and expect a different result. We must embrace innovations and change to get more positive results and outcomes from our elections,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the INEC’s staff, who are participating at the two-day workshop, are drawn from Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.

Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam