With barely 100 days to the 2023 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reassured Nigerians of the total commitment of the commission to a technology-driven process that guarantees credible, free, fair and transparent elections.
In a message sent to Nigerians by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday declared that the allegiance and loyalty of the electoral body are to Nigeria and Nigerians which he said yearn for a transparent, credible election.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, in a message he sent to Nigerians to donate the day and hour polls will open on February 25, 2023, INEC boss equally.
He restated that the use of the Bimodal Accreditation System and INEC Results View Portal (IREV) that guarantee real-time upload and viewing of poll unit results remain sacrosanct.
The statement reads, “It is exactly 100 days today before polling units open at 8.30 am on Saturday 25th February 2023 for national elections (Presidential and National Assembly) and two weeks later on Saturday 11th March 2023 for State elections (Governorship and State Houses of Assembly).
“Once again, another General Election is upon us, the 7th since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999. Over the last 23 years, we have made steady progress in the twin areas of electoral reform and election administration.“
Although a lot of work still lies ahead, it is generally acknowledged that our elections are getting better and citizens’ confidence in the process is increasing.
“As I have said repeatedly, the Commission’s allegiance is to Nigeria. Our loyalty is to Nigerians who want free, fair, credible and verifiable elections supported by technology, which guarantees transparent accreditation and upload of polling unit results for citizens to view in real-time on Election Day.
“It is for these reasons that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) were introduced. There is no going back on the deployment of BVAS and IReV for the 2023 General Election”.
Prof Yakubu assured that the commission will ramp up its engagement with stakeholders and Nigerians in the days and weeks ahead, dovetailing into bi-weekly, weekly and daily briefings, all in an effort to keep all abreast with updates and challenges faced by the electoral body, if any.
The INEC boss also urged the political parties to eschew violence as they sell their program to the masses.
“Similarly, we will continue with our regular engagement with political parties, civil society organisations, the media and other critical stakeholders. Above all, Nigerians deserve the right to know about the progress we are making and the challenges (if any) we confront in our preparations for the General Election. Accordingly, in a couple of weeks, the Commission will start bi-weekly media briefings followed by weekly briefings as we get closer to the election. In the week leading to the election, there will be daily briefings.
“I seize this opportunity to call on all citizens to participate fully in all electoral activities, particularly the ongoing display of the Register of Voters for claims and objections, as well as the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs). I also call on political parties and political leaders to conduct their campaigns peacefully, eschewing divisiveness, rancour and violence.
“As Nigerians are aware, the election is a multi-stakeholder activity. We will continue to play our part diligently and conscientiously. We appeal to all stakeholders and, above all, citizens to play their own part so that working together, we can have the elections that Nigerians yearn for, and which the world expects from us.”[carousel_slide id='8496']