INEC Admits Logistics, Technology Challenges in Presidential, National Assembly Elections

  • Says RECs will be held responsible for flawed logistics
  • Insists BVAS will be deployed for voter accreditation, result management for governorship, state assembly elections
  • Says lessons have been learnt
  • Senators-elect get certificate of return Tuesday, House members-elect Wednesday


Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has admitted that issues of logistics, election technology, behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, attitude of some party agents and supporters contibuted to the extremely challenging environment in last week’s election.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu dropped the hint this Saturday at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Yakubu said the purpose of the meeting was to review the performance of the Commission during the Presidential and National Assembly elections held last week and assess preparations for Governorship and State Assembly elections.

Yakubu said: “No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions as. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen.

“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.”

INEC boss said the commission 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, adding that a lot of lessons have been learnt.

The chairman explained that the immediate concern to the Commission was how the identified challenges could be addressed as it approaches the concluding phase of the general election involving the largest number of constituencies –28 State Governorship elections and 993 State Houses of Assembly seats.

Yakubu disclosed that in last Saturday’s elections, winners had also been declared for 423 national legislative seats, while supplementary elections would be held in 46 constituencies.

He stated further that in the Senate, 98 out of 109 seats had been declared, while seven political parties have won senatorial seats and in the House of Representatives, 325 out of 360 seats have been won by eight political parties.

According to him, in terms of party representation, the 10th Assembly would be the most diverse since 1999.

“In the Senate, the All Progressives Congress won 57 seats; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won 29 seats; Labour Party won six, New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP) won two; Social Democratic Party (SDP) also won 2; the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Young Peoples Party (YPP) won one each.

“Also, in the House of Representatives, APC won 262, PDP 102; LP 34; APGA four; African Democratic Congress (ADC) and SDP won two each while YPP won one,” he said.

The INEC Chairman added: “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.”

The chairman cautioned that for effective crowd management, each Senator/Member-elect should be accompanied by a maximum of two guests, adding that the comprehensive list of all members-elect would be uploaded to the Commission’s website shortly.

He declared: “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, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.”

Yakubu stated that Election Day logistics must be finalised days before the election and handled by the Electoral Officers (EOs) at Local Government level, noting that this had been the standard practice.

According to him, “Centralising the process as was done in some States resulted in delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls. RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. The Commission has enough facilities in all the States of the Federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable.”

The chairman announced that refresher training must be conducted for ad hoc staff that participated in the last election, saying where they are replaced for good reason, they must be properly trained so that processes are not delayed or compromised at any stage.

In the chairman’s words: “Arising from last week’s election, the Commission has received reports from our State offices, as well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates. Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress. I must add that any action taken by the Commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedy as provided by law.

“On Election Day technology, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management. The deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitise voter accreditation as can be seen from the result of recent elections.

“Since last week, the Commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally.”

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