The Independent National Electoral Commission said Friday it would punish political parties that violate election timelines and the provisions of the new 2022 electoral law (as amended), especially during the 2023 elections.
The committee also maintained its stance not to ditch electronic transmission of results and return to manual processing, and would not lower the bar in next year’s election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chair of the Information and Voter Education Commission, Festus Okoye, provided the clarification during a post-election roundtable discussion and a public presentation of the final report on the observation of the 2022 Ekiti and Osun governor elections, hosted by a human rights group. , Jiaga Africa.
He said: “I want to take this opportunity to assure Nigerians that this current commission will be courageous and courageous in prosecuting the 2023 general election.
“We will reap and we will continue to learn lessons from the Edo gubernatorial election, the Ondo gubernatorial election, the Anambra gubernatorial election, and the Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections in shaping the way we approach the 2023 general election.
“We’re going to harvest all the good practices, we’re also going to look at some of those issues that we didn’t do so well and we’ll improve them.
“But our assurance is that this committee will not lower the bar and we will improve and we will continue to improve with each election.
“All the good practices we have used in prosecuting the elections under review will also be used in prosecuting the 2023 general election.
“This committee will continue to upload the results of the polling unit to our INEC portal for viewing results; this committee will not deviate from it.
“The Nigerian people will be involved every inch of the process to know what is going on at the different polling stations through our processes and procedures.
“We will also continue to manage the collection process transparently so that all Nigerians will also follow what we are doing and we will not deviate from any good practices that we have identified.”
While seeking the cooperation of Nigerians, Okoye advised civil society organizations and other critical stakeholders to study the Elections Act 2022 to gain the necessary knowledge of its provisions.
“Creative and innovative provisions have been incorporated into the Elections Act 2022 that have changed the framework and dynamics of election management and results management in Nigeria.
“Unless we have a good knowledge of these documents, it will be very difficult for us to understand the trajectory of the electoral process and some of the innovations and some of the changes that the committee that we are making and that we continue to make to improve the character and the content and context of the elections.
“We are advocating for understanding from Nigerians, we are advocating for cooperation from Nigerians because we recognize that the 2023 elections will be challenging, but we have the capacity and we also have the courage to face those challenges in a very broad and courageous way.”
Yiaga Africa board chairman Hussaini Abdu reiterated his commitment to election surveillance and urged INEC to take an example from the Ekiti and Osun governor elections as elections were held in those states just after the 2022 election law was passed.
Abdu, arguing that poor logistics have been a major curse in Nigeria’s history, ordered INEC to improve.
He said: “Often, especially in the last three rounds or cycles of elections, these, which we categorize as pre-season elections, define the character of what to expect in the upcoming general election.
“We saw that in 2015 and we saw that in 2019, but what makes this more remarkable and requires much deeper reflections and conversations is the fact that we have elections that take place after the new electoral law and that is very important.”