As the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) work together to mobilize the electorate for peaceful conduct of the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States, the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has called for the review of the NOA Act to enable it participate more actively in the conduct of elections.
He made the call when the NOA Director General, Garba Abari paid him a working visit in his office, according to Abari, to “strategize and extract inputs from both organizations on how to make impact on the society in line with their respective mandates” ahead of the elections.
Professor Yakubu noted that the long standing INEC and NOA partnership was getting deeper and more fruitful, but called for the review and strengthening of relevant aspects of the NOA Act to enable the Agency work more closely with INEC in the conduct of future elections. Describing elections as a civic process requiring key inputs from an Agency like NOA, the INEC boss commended the Agency for being innovative and engaging with stakeholders to meet the challenges of the electoral process.
Reiterating the Commission’s commitment to delivering elections that meet world electoral standards, the INEC Chairman said “NOA will always have in INEC a partner in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections”.
The NOA Director General had described the two bodies as “Siamese twins” which both have presence in all States and Local Government Areas of the country and always work together toward hitch free elections, especially in the areas of voter education and mobilization. He said NOA was a “conduit and strategic platform for engagement with the public” on matters of public interest, adding that his Agency was prepared utilize its platforms to mobilize both politicians and the electorate, down to the grassroots level, “toward rancor-free and possibly litigation-free elections in Edo and Ondo States as well as for future elections”.