Human rights activist charges INEC on ethics, integrity
The Executive Director Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolutions (CHRCR), Idris Miliki has charged Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to step up observance of ethics and integrity within the commission to arouse participation of electorate in the forthcoming governorship election in Kogi State.
Miliki was of the opinion that the effort will go a long way in reducing voters’ apathy.
This is just as he came hard on civil society organisations CSO and the media for not doing much on the promotion of ethics and integrity within the system which has negatively affected their acceptability by the public.
This was the submission made by Miliki alongside participants at a one-day programme on ethics and integrity, fight against corruption for civil society and media, held in Kogi which was organised by Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolutions CHRCR in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre CISLAC.
The programme featured presentations on corruption as absence of ethics and Integrity.
It described corruption as absence of ethical conducts and described ethics as a fundamental principle. Integrity is consistency, uprightness and wholesome conduct. Ethics is important in governance and even among the civil society organizations and the media, who were described as part of the building blocks of a vibrant democracy.
This is because popular participation which is an important part of democracy increases democratic legitimacy. Popular participation in a vibrant democracy increases opportunity for active citizenship, increases equality of access to policy and decision-making. It equally increases quality service to the people.
According to the Executive Director of the centre, Comrade Idris Miliki Abdul, the objective was to examine the post 2023 elections on ethics and integrity in the fight against corruption and accountability.
He said, lack of ethics and Integrity in the service of civil society organisation and media create big vacuum in the acceptability of the society in the service they render.
“That INEC in the just concluded 2023 elections, have not improved on ethics andiIntegrity, despite the improved provisions in the 2022 Electoral Act.
“The civil society organizations (CSOs) are not doing enough in the promotion of ethics and integrity.
“That platform of stakeholders, that comprises different and relevant stakeholders are lacking, therefore creating a big vacuum in Kogi State, in the fight against corruption and accountability in the electoral and political process.
“The civil society organisations (CSOs) were encouraged to work for popular participation, so as to increase democratic legitimacy because of their link to the citizens.
“Urge greater accountability of public bodies or institutions between different communities and social groups.
“The programme urged Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to intensify their activities and apply ethics and integrity, to encourage voice and participation in core value, that promote democratic principles, good governance, electoral integrity and legitimacy.
“Encourage at all political levels, that political process or institutions must respect freedom of thought and association.
“The media as the fourth estate of the realm, as provided in section 22 of the 1999 constitution as amended, were encouraged to air and produce views, commentaries and information to enhance national ethics and integrity.
“To report issues of public interests in fair, accurate, unbiased, decent manner and language.
“Media were encouraged to create products or programmes which can enhance ethics and integrity.
“That stakeholders that comprise of civil society organisation (CSOs), women groups, religious institutions, youth groups etc should create a platform that will engage the governorship candidates in an open debate towards the 2023 November 11th Governorship election in Kogi State.”
While emphasising the effective way of achieving the task ahead through the instrumentality of ethics and integrity, he appreciated the organisers for their consistency in the crusade against corruption and accountability with the continued support of *John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.