The Independent National Electoral Commission has promised to discipline any of its employees who may have acted improperly during the Saturday, February 25, Presidential and National Assembly Elections, including any ad hoc or collation staff.
At a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners on Saturday in Abuja, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the head of INEC, revealed this.
"We must fight harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election," he said, referring to the governorship and state assembly elections. Nigerians won't tolerate anything else.
Yakubu emphasized to the RECs the importance of the Commission's review of Saturday's poll results.
He remarked that although the elections were carefully organized, they had problems with technology, election officials' delays, and political party agents' attitudes, among other things.
Before the governorship and state assembly elections, the INEC chairman claimed that many lessons had been learned from the presidential elections.
Yakubu claimed that the All Progressives Congress won the National Assembly poll with 57 seats in the Senate and 162 in the House of Representatives.
The election for the National Assembly in 2023, according to him, was the most varied since 1999.
The winner of 423 positions in the national legislature has also been announced, and supplementary elections will be conducted in 46 constituencies, according to the INEC Chairman. 98 of the 109 positions in the Senate have been filled. In the Senate, seats have been gained by seven political parties so far, while eight political parties have taken home 325 of the 360 seats in the House of Representatives.
Yakubu continued by saying that only free and open elections would be tolerated in the governorship and state assembly elections, and he urged the RECs to get moving.
For the elections on March 11, he stated, the Bimodal Voter Authentication System machines will be installed, guaranteeing the BVAS's smooth operation.
The INEC Chairman stated, "We must work harder to overcome the challenges encountered in the last election as we approach the governorship and state assembly elections. Nigerians won't tolerate anything else. All employees who are found to have been careless, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not participate in upcoming elections, whether they are normal or ad hoc officials. In cases where there is established prima facie proof of wrongdoing, RECs must also take immediate disciplinary action.
"Since last week's election, the Commission has received reports from our State offices as well as complaints and petitions from political parties and contestants," Yakubu said about the petitions from political parties. There will be remedies where violations of any kind are demonstrated. I must also add that any action made by the Commission will not affect the rights of parties or candidates to pursue additional legal recourse.
The INEC Chairman pleaded with remaining foreign observer teams in place to include the governorship and state assembly elections in their scope of observation.
He praised the domestic monitors for their preliminary findings, which will help the Commission as the general elections in 2023 draw to a close.
CREDIT: The Punch
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