2023: INEC has no presidential candidate in the forthcoming elections ― Yakubu

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmud Yakubu, has declared that the Commission has no candidate in the forthcoming presidential election which is scheduled to hold in February 2023.


While reiterating the impartial and non-partisan stance of the Commission, Yakubu, stated emphatically that INEC is not a political party, stressing that all political parties and candidates in the presidential election have equal standing before the Commission.


The INEC boss made the declaration on Wednesday in Lagos at the ongoing induction retreat which is on its third day, organised and sponsored by the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) for the newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners.


According to him, the responsibility of the commission is to uphold the sanctity of the electoral process, just as he said the choice of who becomes the president of the country is for Nigerians to make.


He said, “Our success in the forthcoming election ultimately depends on our integrity. The INEC is impartial. As I have said on many occasions, the Commission is not a political party. The Commission has no candidate in the forthcoming election.


“All political parties have equal standing before the Commission. The choice belongs to Nigerian citizens to elect their president. Our responsibility is to conduct elections a uphold the sanctity of the process and nothing more,” he explained.


The INEC chairman also took time out to clarify what he described as a misleading statement by some sections of the country that voters can vote on election day without their PVCs.


He said, “It has been trending since last week that voters can vote without their PVCs. This is absolutely incorrect. For anybody to vote, he or she must be a registered voter issued with permanent voter cards, the PVC. The Commission has consistently made it a policy of no PVC, no vote. Nothing has changed. It is a requirement of the law therefore nobody can vote on election day without the PVC.”


Giving statistics of critical assets that were lost and destroyed in the attacks on INEC offices and facilities across the country, Yakubu revealed that critical facilities including voting cubicles, ballot boxes and electric power generators were lost to the attacks.


He said, “Let me touch on the troubling issue of attacks on our offices and destruction of our facilities and assets across the country. In the last four months alone, five local government offices of the commission were attacked by some unknown persons.


“Critical facilities were lost and damaged. These facilities include a total of 1,992 ballot boxes, 799 voting cubicles and 22 electric power generators as well as thousands of uncollected PVCs among many other items. These attacks must stop and the perpetrators apprehended and brought to justice.


“Our responsibility is to conduct elections. I want to reassure Nigerians that we will recover from these attacks. The lost materials will be reproduced but there is a limit to our ability to keep reproducing lost or damaged items with just a little space to the general election.


“We will continue to urge the security agencies, traditional and community leaders and all well-meaning Nigerians to stop the attacks but the ultimate solution is the arrest and prosecution of the culprits so that vandals and arsonists don’t think that bad behaviour is acceptable in our country,” he added.



(Nigerian Tribune)



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