By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday, said the Commission will work to ensure that the 2023 General election is different from all previous elections in terms of preparations and readiness.
Yakubu, who said this at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja, disclosed that the RECs have been directed to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials in order to determine shortfalls and take early steps to ensure their adequacy and availability.
The Chairman, who noted that only a few States are still outstanding, reminded the States that are yet to make their submissions to do so by the end of this week, so as to enable the Commission address some of the logistics issues that have become a recurring decimal in the conduct of elections in the past.
Speaking on the crux of the meeting, he said, “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 the commencement of the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR). The two activities are interrelated.
“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 Election Day.
“Furthermore, those who wish to replace their lost or damaged Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), 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”, he stated.
Yakubu further commend the RECs and staff of the Commission for ensuring that the two elections conducted this year continue to meet the standard for credible elections.
“Here I am referring to the Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency re-run election and the Kafin Hausa State Constituency bye-election in Niger and Jigawa States respectively.
“We should in fact strive to do even better in the forthcoming Ekiti East State Constituency 1 bye-election scheduled for 20th March, to be followed a week later by the Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency bye-election in Abia State holding on 27th March 2021.
“Similarly, with the recent declaration of vacancy by the Delta State House of Assembly, I wish to assure the people of Isoko North State Constituency that the timetable for the bye-election to fill the vacancy in the State House of Assembly will be released before the end of this week”, he said.
While speaking on the progress of the Committee 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 2022-2026, the Chairman assured Nigerians that this will be accomplished long before the expiry of the current five-year plan covering the period of 2017-2021.