What Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, Said Ahead Of The 2023 Elections

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated that the commission’s workforce is non-partisan.

Yakubu stated on BBC News Africa on Monday that the election results will be communicated electronically in accordance with the law.

He denied rumors that the commission was considering postponing the elections owing to insecurity and assaults on INEC infrastructure.

Bola Tinubu, the INEC chairman, refuted rumors that he is linked to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), claiming that he is apolitical and not authorized to promote any candidate.

“That is simply an accusation,” he stated. People in Nigeria and other nations always say this about all election commissioners and electoral commissions.

“However, consider the type of elections we’ve been holding recently.

“Different political parties have won different elections and voters trust that the votes are counted and will continue to count. They have faith in the process.

“So, my commitment to citizens is that we will continue to do everything is required to ensure that we maintain the integrity of the process.

“Our loyalty is to the Nigerian people, not to any political party or political player.”

“We executed the pilot in August 2020 at Nasarawa State when we held a by-election in a state constituency,” Yakubu said of the commission’s ability to submit election results electronically.

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“Since then, we have pioneered the transmission of results in 105 seats around the country, including significant governorship elections.

“We accomplished it in Anambra, Ekiti, Osun, and the Federal Capital Territory,” he said.

“In the Nigerian context, some of these may be minor elections. However, Ekiti is the state with the fewest registered voters in the areas where we relayed election results.

“Ekiti has more registered voters than Gambia and Cape Verde combined.

“So, we are delighted with the pilot that we have undertaken and we are relatively confident in the soundness of the procedures.

“On Election Day, the system does not rely on the internet to authenticate voters.

“It operates in the background. It merely requires a network to transmit findings.

“But if there is no network in the near neighborhood, the scanned image of the polling unit level results which is obtained using the BVAS will be communicated as soon as the employees go from the polling unit to the collation centres.

“We have been working with the main telecom carriers and we are satisfied that the number of blind spots can be handled.

“Without a network, the number of blind spots is quite tiny.”

The INEC chairman reiterated that the polls on February 25 and March 11 will not be postponed.
“Yes, there is insecurity, but it is persistent,” he remarked. We are dedicated to holding the election on time.

“The general elections in 2023 will not be postponed. The commission is not even thinking about making changes to the schedule. So we’re all set for this election.

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With 32 days till the election, the PDP is heading to court, requesting that INEC delist Bola Tinubu.

“We have identified those sites where infrastructures have been targeted and we have told Nigerians that we can recover from these attacks.

“This year in particular, we have suffered attacks in a lot of areas, but these are attacks from which we can recover.

“So, I can’t see that as a barrier to the conduct of election countrywide. We’ll go on with our plans.”

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