The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, has said the Commission has learnt some lessons from the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections. Yakubu, who spoke in Lagos yesterdayduringa retreat for an overview of the Ekiti and Osun off-cycle governorship elections: lessons for the 2023generalelection, saidthe challenges the Commission faced and overcame in both elections would provide useful lessons for the 2023 election. He said: “In both elections, we were prompt and proactive in the level of implementation of our pre-election activities such as training, storage facilities, the printing of the voter register, the receipt of non-sensitive materials, preparation of the Registration Area Centres (RACs), deployment and configurationof the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), coordination with the security agencies and the management of electoral logistics.
“Similarly, the opening of Polling Units (PUs) and the commencement of polls was impressive, a fact also reported by many election observation groups. “However, while the Commission draws vital lessons from the conduct of the most recent off-cycle elections, managing the forthcoming election is huge. “The voter population, number of polling units, election personnel, security considerations, logistics and so on are enormous.
For instance, compared to the general election, the Ekiti and Osun voter population constitutes just 3.27% of the total number of registered voters; 5.94% of the number of local government areas, 5.77% of Registration Areas (or electoral Wards) and only 3.51% of PUs nationwide.” The Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Olusegun Agbaje said the retreat was geared towards a thorough and honest appraisal of the conduct of off-cyclegovernorshipelections in EkitiandOsun states with a view to ensuring an improvedperformanceinthe conductof afree, fair, credible andinclusivegeneralelection in 2023.