Yakubu: Managing 2023 Polls Huge, But INEC’ll Stand for Justice

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, yesterday, said though managing the forthcoming general election would be a huge task, the commission would ultimately stand for electoral justice.

Yakubu spoke at the opening ceremony of INEC’s retreat to review the recent Ekiti and Osun off-cycle governorship elections as well as the lessons learnt for an improved performance in the 2023 general election.

The retreat had in attendance, INEC National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners, Civil Society Organisations, Election Experts, and development partners among others.

Yakubu said there had been a huge public expectation from INEC to sustain successes recorded in recent off-season elections and raise the bar higher.

“The commission draws vital lessons from the conduct of the most recent off-cycle elections, managing the forthcoming general election is huge. The voter population, number of polling units, election personnel, security considerations, logistics and so on are enormous.

“The willingness of civil society organisations, election experts and development partners to work with the Commission to further improve on our processes is a great source of encouragement.

“We are fully aware of the reality that good elections have resulted in even greater expectations on the Commission to do better,” the INEC boss said.

According to him, following the successful conduct of the Ekiti governorship, some people wondered if the same could be repeated in Osun, because of its much bigger size and population, but that the Osun election was an improvement on Ekiti.

“This gives us confidence that working on the same principles, the general election will also be successfully delivered. I want to assure and reassure Nigerians that the commission will stand for electoral justice. Only the votes cast by Nigerians will determine, who win elections and this is our commitment to the nation,” Yakubu said.

On cleaning of voter register, Yakubu assured Nigerians that no ineligible person would participate in the elections.

Describing elections as a multi-stakeholders’ responsibilities, he said tas far as INEC roles and responsibilities were concerned, the commission had made a lot of progress in terms of preparations.

On the challenge of vote buying, Yakubu said INEC would continue to do whatever it could through voter education to discourage the menace as well as working with security and anti-graft agencies to check the trend.

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