Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has assured Nigerians that the 2023 elections would be different from all previous ones in terms of preparations and readiness.Yakubu, who gave the assurance at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), yesterday, in Abuja, said the commission was committed to deepening the culture of planning for election.
“As we continue to plan for the next general election, the RECs have been directed to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials to determine shortfalls and take early steps to ensure their adequacy and availability
“Only a few states are still outstanding. I am reminding the states that are yet to make their submissions to do so by the end of this week. This will enable us to address some of the logistics issues that have become a recurring decimal in the conduct of elections in the past. The 2023 general election must be different from all previous elections in terms of our preparations and readiness,” he stated.
The INEC boss commended the RECs and staff of the commission “for ensuring that the two elections conducted this year met the standard for credible exerciser”.
He urged them to strive to do even better in the forthcoming Ekiti East State Constituency 1 bye-election and Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency bye-election in Abia State.
“You will recall that the expansion of voters’ access to polling units and resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) were among the issues discussed at our last meeting held a little over one month ago.
“Today, we will, among other issues, review the engagements with stakeholders on the proposed expansion of voters’ access to polling units so far as well as our preparations for commencement of the CVR.
“The two activities are inter-related. Our plan is to conclude the ongoing consultations and the actual work on the polling units in earnest so that the new locations will be made public for eligible registrants to choose where they wish to register and vote on the day of election.”
According to Yakubu, those who wish to replace their lost or damaged Permanent Voter Card (PVC), as well as those who are already registered but who may wish to apply for transfer of their registration from one location to another, will be able to do so as provided by law.
“As you are also aware, the commission is committed to deepening the culture of planning for elections. The current five-year plan covering 2017 to 2021 expires this year. For this reason, a committee involving participation of some RECs was inaugurated a few weeks ago to review the Strategic Plan (SP) and the Strategic Programme of Action (SPA) to cover the next cycle of five years from 2022 to 2026.”
“The committee is making good progress. Its report should be submitted by the end of this month to enable the commission engage stakeholders for its validation and subsequent implementation,” the INEC chairman said.