….pledges credible polls
Zakaa Lazarus, Abuja.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has on Thursday assured Nigerians that it would continue to act on their suggestions towards a credible, free and fair 2023 General Elections.
Chairman, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the pledge in Abuja where the commission unveiled its 2023 Election Project Plan (EPP) and INEC’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, (SP).
Prof. Yakubu reiterated that the conduct of the 2023 General Elections would be guided strictly by the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act which he assured contained a number of progressive provisions that would enhance the capacity of the commission to conduct free and fair elections next year.
Prof. Yakubu said: “I am glad to report that these plans were finalised 10 months ahead of the 2023 General Elections. As you may be aware, the elections will be conducted for 1,491 constituencies nationwide made up of 1 presidential constituency, 109 senatorial districts, 360 federal constituencies, 28 governorship elections and 993 state constituencies. The election will involve an estimated one million electoral officials.
“The election will be governed by a new Electoral Act 2022, which contains many progressive provisions that will enhance the capacity of the commission to conduct elections and manage the electoral process better.”
On feedback from the electorate, the INEC boss stated: “We have carefully listened to the demand of Nigerians for seamless processes, particularly with regard to enhanced voter education, better distribution of voters to polling units, quality training of election personnel, functionality of electronic devices, improved logistics, prompt commencement of polls, availability of assistive devices for persons with disability at polling units and greater transparency in result management.”
Addressing the issue of insecurity in relation to the 2023 elections, the INEC chairman said: “We are also aware of the security challenges and their impact on the electoral process. We will continue to engage early and intensely with the security agencies to ensure the safety of our personnel and materials, accredited observers and the media and, above all, the voters. Clearly, these are challenging times but we are determined that election must hold in 2023.
“Let once again reiterate that the dates for all activities in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election are firm and fixed and all stakeholders are advised to take this into consideration in planning their activities.
“For emphasis, the Commission once again reiterates that permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) have no expiry dates. We want to assure all registered voters that the PVCs issued by the Commission remain valid for all elections.”