CDD disputes allegation of partiality over INEC’s neglect of vacant NASS seats

CENTRE for Democracy and Development (CDD) has disputed an allegation of partiality over neglect of vacant seats at the National Assembly by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a statement on Tuesday, the CDD Director Idayat Hassan said the allegation had resulted from a misrepresentation of the Centre’s work on the forthcoming elections in an article published recently.

Hassan said the allegation was contrary to the CDD’s position, adding that the Centre remained neutral and impartial ahead of the 2023 elections.

“This unfortunate misrepresentation goes at odds with the position of the CDD, which is already on public record.

“Our work remains to serve as the ultimate catalyst in the transformation of the West African sub-continent into an integrated, economically vibrant and democratically governed community that assures holistic security to the population and is capable of permanent peaceful conflict management,” the statement read.

She expressed the hope that concerns raised by the article would be allayed, and reiterated the Centre’s commitment to enhancing democratic values.

Lawyer and human rights activist Chidi Odinkalu had said the CDD was attempting to excuse INEC’s neglect of the constitution rather than hold them to account.

Odinkalu queried the empty seats at the National Assembly and INEC’s “refusal” to organise elections for the vacant positions.



    He referred to an earlier statement by the CDD where the Director, Hassan, noted that INEC was preoccupied with the 2023 general elections, describing it as “disconcerting” and an excuse for the Commission.

    Odinkalu also said that the Centre was creating an alibi for INEC where there was none.

    But in the statement on Tuesday, Hassan said Odinkalu unfairly distorted the CDD’s message.

    “In the article, the author of the piece unfairly twisted the CDD’s position on pending elections to some vacant seats at the Senate and House of Representatives by falsely asserting that the Centre for Democracy and Development was making excuses for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” Hassan noted.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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