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Kogi, Imo, Bayelsa Polls: 2023 General Elections Have Thought Us A Lesson – INEC

by Victor Ndubuisi

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the national chairman of INEC, has stated that the upcoming round of elections in the states of Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa will be improved as a result of the lessons learnt from the 2023 general elections.

He continued by saying that the Commission was pleased with the response it received following the 2023 post-election review, which the Commission had organised.

The head of INEC promised that majority of the concerns aired and suggestions made to improve the country’s elections would be tested in the upcoming elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa states at the conclusion of the three-day assessment on the 2023 elections in Lagos.

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Yakubu said: “We promised Nigerians that we were going to hold the election review meeting and conclude it within one month.


“We started on the the 4th of July and today (yesterday) is the 4th of August, the response was been overwhelming. Remember we started with the state level consultation with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, RECs.

“We had an engagement with the transport unions, we then met with the state collation of the presidential election in Abuja, then we had engagement with political parties, civil organisations among others.

“So overall, we are encouraged by the response of stakeholders across the board and the quality of the contributions they made.”

Asked the challenges that kept popping up during the review, he said: “A number of challenges came up; technology for voter accreditation, and result management was part of the issues raised, and recommendations made.

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“The issue of electoral logistics, so that elections can start promptly; also the production and collection of permanent voters cards, PVCs among others.

“We are harvesting all the issues and all the recommendations and those that require administrative actions by the commission would be dealt with.


“But those that require amendment to the existing laws, wether the Electoral Act 2022 or the Constitution, we will harvest them and approach the National Assembly for consideration.

“So we are happy so far with the response we received and the frank discussion across the board.

“The most important thing for the commission is that we have heard from Nigerians and it will enable us to go back to the drawing board in our quest to continuously improve the electoral process.


“After harvesting the information, there’s an opportunity in the three of circle elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi State in November to implement some of the recommendations that require only administrative actions by the commission, while those that require legislation, the National Assembly has to work on the laws.

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“There’s also another opportunity for us because so far, four vacancies have been declared for by-elections: Surulere 1, State constituency in Lagos, Jalingo federal constituency in Taraba State, Chibok State constituency in Bronu State, and Chikun State constituency in Kaduna State.


“So we will keep test running some the recommendations in the forthcoming by-elections.”

Asked if results would be posted immediately from the polling units to the commission’s IREV, he said: “Did the issues resurface in the governorship elections of March 18?

“Not only the governorship elections in 28 states, but the 993 states constituencies State assembly elections?

“So lessons have already been learned.

“However, there are two considerations: one we can’t preempt the ongoing processes, and secondly, many of the issues are subjudice because they are currently being litigated at various election petitions tribunals and it not good for us to comment on live matters in court.


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“But lessons have been learned and there will be improvement. That is our assurance to Nigerians.”


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