Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has directed Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials used in the conduct of the 2019 general election in order to determine shortfalls and take early steps to ensure their adequacy and availability in the 2023 general election.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a meeting with RECs, expressed the determination of the commission to make preparation for the next general election, different from previous ones. Yakubu, however, said only few states were yet to comply with the directive, and told the states concerned to do so by the end of this week.
“This will enable us to address some of the logistics issues that have become a recurring decimal in the conduct of elections in the past. “The 2023 general election must be different from all previous elections in terms of our preparations and readiness,” he declared.
The INEC Chairman commended the RECs and staff of the commission for ensuring that the two elections conducted this year, Magama/Rijau federal constituency and the Kafin Hausa state constituency by-elections in Niger and Jigawa states respectively, met the standard for credible elections.
“We should, in fact, strive to do even better in the forthcoming Ekiti East state constituency 1 by-election scheduled for 20th March, to be followed a week later by the Aba North/Aba south federal constituency by-election in Abia State holding on 27th March 2021,” Yakubu added.
He disclosed that the timetable for by-election into the vacant Isoko North state constituency in Delta State would be released before the end of this week.
On the creation of new polling units and resumption of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), Yakubu said the commission would soon conclude the ongoing consultations so that the locations of the new polling units will be made public for eligible registrants to choose where they wish to register and vote on election day.
“Furthermore, those who wish to replace their lost or damaged permanent voters’ cards (PVCs), as well as those who are already registered, but who may wish to apply for transfer of their registration from one location to another, will be able to do so as provided by law,” he said.
He stated that as part of plans to deepen the culture of planning for elections, the commission has inaugurated a committee to review the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Programme of Action (SPA) to cover the next five years from 2022-2026.