Elections will Go on as Planned Despite Attacks on our Offices – INEC
POLITICS DIGEST – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will go ahead to conduct the 2023 general election as scheduled, the recent attacks on its offices not withstanding.
The commission noted that not even the loss of some election materials already delivered for 2023 general election to recent attacks on its offices in different parts of the country would stop the polls from taking place as scheduled.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stated this yesterday when he received the delegation of African Union Special Pre- Electoral Political Mission led by Phumzile Mlambo- Ngcuka in Abuja.
Yakubu assured Nigerians that the occurrence would not affect the conduct of the 2023 general election as scheduled, as the commission would recover from the losses.
He said despite INEC’s progress and preparations for the 2023 general election, the commission was still concerned about the security situation generally in the country, particularly the incidence of attacks on its facilities.
In the last three weeks, he said three of its local government offices were attacked in three different states of the federation and the last one occurred yesterday in the South Eastern part of the country.
He stated, “Although there were no casualties, quite a number of the materials already acquired and delivered for the elections have been lost.
“Now, the good thing is that so far we can recover from all the losses but it’s a source of concern. This shouldn’t be allowed to continue.
“So , we will continue to engage with the security agencies to make sure that these offices as well as personnel and our facilities are protected ahead of the election.
“We may express some concern about the attack on these facilities but it will never deter the commission from going ahead with the election as scheduled.”
Yakubu reiterated that the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) for voter accreditation for uploading of PU results in real-time have come to stay.
He said there was no going back to the deployment of those technologies because it was a requirement of the law making it mandatory for INEC to do so.
He added that between August 2020 and July 2022 the technologies had been deployed for about 105 off-cycle and by-elections including Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun Governorship elections.
The INEC boss continued: “We are happy with the pilot that we have conducted and these are results you can still view on the portal.
“We kept asking particularly political parties to compare the results given to them at that point, that is the hard copy signed by their agents and what we uploaded on the IREV portal and we have been asking them if there are discrepancies.
“So far, all the political parties have confirmed that it’s 99.9 percent accurate so we are happy with that pilot.”
Yakubu reassured Nigerians that INEC may suffer a little hitch here and there but overall, the Commission was required to proceed with the election.
“We are required to proceed in the manner that the law requires us to do using the deployment of technology for accreditation and uploading of Polling Unit level results from the PU on election day for transparency.
“The good thing is that since we started this process, we hear less and less of litigation arising from the conduct of elections by the commission.