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#INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu Talks Tough On Transmitting In Governorship Elections Results To IReV Portal

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has learnt lessons from the challenges encountered during its conduct of the February 25, 2023, presidential election which has been widely described as flawed and lacking transparency.

INEC had failed to upload results of the presidential and national assembly elections to its public result viewing portal (IReV) as mandated in its 2022 election guidelines and regulations, thereby drawing the ire of voters who accused the commission of allegedly rigging the election in favour of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the electoral umpire, however, promised during his meeting with resident electoral commissioners (RECS) on Saturday in Abuja that issues recorded during the presidential election would not repeat themselves during the governorship and state assembly polls as the commission had carried out an intensive review of its technology.

Yakubu also directed that INEC officials “found to be negligent” during last Saturday’s elections should be barred from the forthcoming polls.

“No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen. The issues of logistics, election technology, behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria,” he said, adding “a lot of lessons have been learnt”.

The INEC boss said, “As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians. All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.

“Arising from last week’s election, the Commission has received reports from our State offices well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates. Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress. I must add that any action taken by the Commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedy as provided by law.

“On Election Day technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management. The deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitise voter accreditation as can be seen from the result of recent elections. Since last week, the Commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally.

Yakubu directed the RECS to finalize all election day logistics ahead of time, saying they would be held responsible for “any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed|

While thanking Nigerians for their patience with the commission, Yakubu appealed to domestic and foreign observers to “consider extending their observations to the Governorship and State Assembly elections not only because they form an integral part of the General Election for which they are accredited but also because they are as important as the national elections.”