The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will scrupulously apply laws , particularly the Electoral Act, 2022 without fear or favour to ensure free, fair, credible, inclusive and transparent elections in 2023.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known on Wednesday, August 3, in Abuja, at the 4th Memorial Lecture in honour of Late Director-General of The Electoral Institute (TEI), Prof. Abubakar Momoh, who who died on May 29, 2017.
Yakubu was represented by Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, National Commissioner and Chairman, Board of Electoral Institute.
Yakubu assured Nigerians that INEC has no preferred party or candidate, but shall only ensure that all valid votes count and the winners are decided solely by the voters.
The chairman said that as the 2023 general elections draws near, it was imperative for all stakeholders especially the political parties to note the major features introduced by the new Electoral Act 2022.
He also advised party leaders to note the possible implications of these changes on the upcoming elections, saying the happenings that accompanied the recent party primaries attest to this.
These changes include amongst others, the conduct of early party primaries by political parties, technological changes in the electoral process;
The Commission’s power to review the decision of the returning officer and overvoting based on the number of accredited Voters.
On New Initiatives
Yakubu said that those new initiatives served as the bedrock for the reviewed Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022, and the review of the Manual for Election Officials, 2022.
He said that the use of electronic devices were now legally allowed in the accreditation process for voters, collation of results and in the general conduct of elections.
These according to him includes the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED); INEC Results Viewing Portal (IRev) and other technological devices.
Please be assured that these innovations are intended to deepen the electoral process in our country.
Their optimal performance in the just concluded gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States is an eloquent testimony to their electoral value.
We shall only do more to consolidate their deployment.
He described the Electoral Act as ingredients for party building, stabilisation of electoral rules and democratic consolidation.
He expressed the conviction that party chairmen and members would be committed to ensuring that the 2023 general election would be devoid of deliberate infractions to the 2022 Electoral Act.
The INEC chairman said that should be done essentially by allowing the electoral process to run smoothly thereby growing a rich democratic culture and acceptable election outcome.