2019: Institute plans engagement with political actors
The National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) said it is planning series of engagements with political actors and institutions ahead of 2019, to map out ways of consolidating the gains of 2015 general elections.
Chairman of the NILS’s Planning Committee for the engagement, Professor Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali, led other members on a courtesy visit to Media Trust, publishers of Daily Trust titles, in Abuja yesterday.
He said the move was to bring together political actors, the electoral umpire, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media to brainstorm and make adequate preparations that would justify Nigeria’s democratic gains.
He said NILS was initially a small unit in the National Assembly meant to provide capacity building for legislators, their staff and other auxiliary personnel; but has grown in capacity and outreach.
“It is so far the only one we’ve in West Africa. The mandate has been expanding and recently a department of democratic studies was added and necessary legislation was made to amend the mandate and strengthen the institution,” he said.
“We’re now in August and if you look at the political calendar, already INEC had determined that elections would hold from February to March 2019.
“So, if you look backwards and look at the periods for the campaigns, congresses, conventions, primaries and elections, virtually not much time is available for planning on how the election should be conducted.
“It is because of this the institute decided that we need to move fast and as part of this a steering committee was set up with membership from various backgrounds, including the National Assembly, academics, professionals, NGOs, who are also involved in capacity building, enlightenment and mobilization.
“It’s from there our committee was setup to step down all the debates, the arguments, the thinking to come up with programme of action and we reached a point where there should be series of seminars, conferences and workshops targeting the political class in collaboration with the media, INEC and monitoring groups so that we should prepare our minds collectively to have a rancour free election,” he said.
The management of Media Trust welcomed the initiative saying consolidating Nigeria’s electoral success of 2015 remained a collective responsibility.
Chairman of Planning Committee of National Institute of Legislative Studies, Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali during a visit to Media Trust headquarters in Abuja yesterday.