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2023 ELECTION: INEC states election guidelines

The Independent national Electoral Commission (INEC) officially announced the release on Friday, June 3 at Abuja.

The Commission’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at a security meeting with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

His words: “With the release of the Regulations and Guidelines today, and the publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022-2026 and Election Project Plan 2023 earlier, the Commission has virtually concluded the planning processes for the 2023 general elections nine months ahead of the elections.

“In the next couple of weeks, the training manual will also be presented to Nigerians. Going forward, the Commission will focus on election administration: logistics, training, voter education, technology, sensitisation against vote buying, inclusivity measures and, above all, security. ICCES will continue to play a critical role and the Commission appreciates the support of all security agencies.

“With the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022, it has become necessary to review the Commission’s regulations and guidelines to govern the conduct of elections.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the regulations and guidelines constitute the electoral legal framework.”

“On several occasions, the Commission has assured Nigerians that we are finalising the regulations and guidelines for the elections. I am glad to announce that the document is ready and will be presented to Nigerians shortly. The soft copy will be uploaded to our website with the link shared on our social media platforms.”

He added that the training manual would also be presented to Nigerians in the next couple of weeks, while INEC would focus on election administration going forward.

The commission went on to say that it expects about one million voters to cast ballots at the June 18 governorship election in Ekiti. Its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, stated this at Ado-Ekiti on Friday at a roundtable for media executives.

Okoye assured Ekiti voters of free, fair and credible election, and said 734,746 potential voters had collected Permanent Voter Cards as at May 27. “For this particular election, after the Commission updated the voters register, we came to the conclusion that 988,923 voters will likely vote in 177 Registration Areas,” he said.

He explained that the figure represented those already on the register and those who registered during the continuous voters registration exercise. “On Election Day, the Commission will deploy ad-hoc staff from 107 registration centres, made up of 46 registration areas and 61 super registration areas. The Commission will also deploy 22,244 polling units and slightly above 10,000 ad-hoc staff to conduct the election,” he said.

Okoye added that non-sensitive materials had been deployed to the 16 local government areas of the state noting that the election would serve as a dress rehearsal for the 2023 general elections. “The Commission is happy and elated at the level of preparations for this election. All the 16 local government areas have received the full complement of non-sensitive materials, dispatched in accordance with all registration areas and wards.

“We assure the people of Ekiti that we will conduct a free, fair and credible election. For the Commission to continue to serve the people better we have brought in technological innovations. We shall use this particular election to test some of our technological innovations to ensure that we get everything right at the 2023 general elections,” Okoye said.

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