We’ve Set Highest Standards, Won’t Lower Bar For 2023 Polls — INEC

THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Friday, said it would not lower the bar for the 2023 General Elections as it would continue to upload polling unit results to the INEC Results Viewing Portal.

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, made this known at the Post-election Roundtable and Public Presentation of Final Report on the Observation of the 2022 Ekiti and Osun Governorship Elections, organised by Yiaga Africa, in Abuja.

Yakubu, represented by the Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, INEC, Mr Festus Okoye, said that the commission would continue to learn valuable lessons from those who observed the governorship elections and improve on it.

According to him, we are going to harvest and we will continue to harvest lessons from the Edo governorship election, the Ondo governorship election, the Anambra governorship election, the Ekiti and the Osun governorship elections in shaping the way we approach the 2023 general election.

“We are going to harvest all the good practices, we are also going to look at some of those issues we did not do so well and we will improve on them.

“But our assurance is that this commission will not lower the bar and we are going to improve and we continue to improve with every election.

“All the good practices we deployed in prosecuting the elections under review will also be deployed for the prosecution of the 2023 general election.

“This commission will continue to upload polling unit results to our INEC results viewing portal; this commission will not depart from it.

Yakubu said that citizens would be involved at every inch of the process in terms of knowing what is going on at the various polling units through INEC’s processes and procedures.

While seeking the cooperation of Nigerians, advised Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, and other critical stakeholders to study the Electoral Act 2022 in order to gain needed knowledge of the provisions of the Electoral Act.

His words: “There are creative and innovative provisions that have been imputed into the Electoral Act 2022 that has changed the framework and dynamics of election management and result management in Nigeria.

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“Unless we have a good knowledge of these documents, it will be very difficult for us to follow the trajectory of the electoral process and some of the innovations and some of the changes the commission we make and we continue to make towards improving the character and content and context of elections.

Restating its commitment on electoral monitoring, Yiaga Africa’s Board Chair, Husseni Abdu, urged INEC to take a cue from the Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections seeing that elections were held in those states just after the 2022 electoral act was passed.

Abdu, stating that poor logistics has been a major bane in the history of Nigeria, tasked INEC on improvement.

“Many times particularly in the last three rounds or cycles of elections these ones that we categorise as upseason elections shape the character of what to expect in the forthcoming general elections.

“We saw that in 2015 and we saw that in 2019, but what makes this more remarkable and require much deeper reflections and conversations is the fact that we have elections taking place after the new electoral Act and that is very important;

“One of the major lagging challenges and is very historical is the electoral logistics and every effort you made all through, you still get to face one kind of challenge or the other. It probably has to do with the size of the country and it also has to do with Citizens’ distrust and the need to produce and use materials that may not necessarily be produced immediately or in the immediate environment as it could be brought from somewhere. All these things compound logistics but we saw improvement in Ekiti and we also saw a more profound improvement in Osun”, he said.

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