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INEC assures use of BVAS in guber polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has banned its regular and ad-hoc staff allegedly found to be negligent, including collation and returning officers (ROs), during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, from participating in the forthcoming March 11 governorship and State Assembly elections.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Saturday at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) held at the INEC headquarters, Abuja.

He noted that in terms of party representation, the next 10th National Assembly is the most diverse since 1999.

He said that in the Senate APC won 57 seats, APGA 1, LP 6, NNPP 2, PDP 29, SDP 2, YPP 1; while in the House of Representatives, ADC 2, APC 162, APGA 4, LP 34, NNPP 18, PDP 102, SDP 2, YPP 1.

He said, “Certificates of Return will be presented to Senators-elect on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 11.00am at the National Collation Centre (the International Conference Centre), Abuja, while Members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive theirs the following day, Wednesday 8th March 2023, at 11.00am at the same venue.

“However, for effective crowd management, each Senator/Member-elect should be accompanied by a maximum of two guests,” Yakubu said.

He added, “As we approach the governorship and state assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.

“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning officers (ROs), must not be involved in forthcoming elections.

“RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established,” Yakubu said.


“The planning for the election was painstakingly done,” adding that its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen.

He said the issues of logistics, election technology, behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.

He said he appreciated the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election.

Yakubu said that a lot of lessons have been learnt and that of immediate concern to the commission is how the identified challenges can be addressed as the nation approach the concluding phase of the general election involving the largest number of constituencies being 28 state governorship elections and 993 state houses of assembly seats.

Prof. Yakubu also said that in last Saturday’s elections, winners have been declared for 423 national legislative seats while supplementary elections will be held in 46 constituencies.

“We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally,” Yakubu said.

He said that the commission appreciate the patience and understanding of Nigerians and that it did not take this for granted.

“We equally appreciate the patriotism of political, traditional, religious, and community leaders that appealed for calm.

“Similarly, the commission appreciates the role of heads of election observation missions, some of whom are still in the country.

“We appeal to such missions to consider extending their observations to the Governorship and State Assembly elections not only because they form an integral part of the General Election for which they are accredited but also because they are as important as the national elections.

“In the same vein, the commission appreciates all domestic observers for their preliminary reports which will help us enormously as we conclude the 2023 general election.

“We look forward to the full reports. We similarly appreciate the media for the extensive coverage of the election and the analyses by informed Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on the processes.

He, however, assured that the Commission will continue to engage with the RECs and all segments of the Nigerian society in a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder review of the election in earnest.

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