The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the reappointed Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to use the more than two years ahead of the 2023 general election to rejig the electoral commission.
The party gave the advice in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mr. Ologbondiyan advised Mr Yakubu to use the period to work out legislations and operational rules that would guarantee a free, credible and all-inclusive electoral process.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu
He advised him to go to Ghana and the U.S. and take a study from their electoral bodies on how to conduct free, fair, transparent and credible general elections.
He advised Mr Yakubu to learn from the Ghana electoral commission, which was making more room for a more all-inclusive electoral process by starting a special voting system to enable personnel of critical service providers to cast their ballots days ahead of the December 7 election date.
He also advised the INEC Chairman to study how the U.S. credibly conducted a keenly contested 2020 presidential election without recourse to government influence and use of security to suppress the wishes of citizens as expressed at the polling units.
He advised Mr Yakubu to engage political stakeholders for legislations, rules and field procedures, so as to curb violence, ensure the security of electoral materials and guarantee the safety of voters.
“The INEC Chairman should initiate processes and procedures that will guarantee prompt arrival of ballot materials, rapid accreditation and voting, instant transmission of results from polling units as well as seamless collation of figures.
“Our party demands Prof. Yakubu to improve on legislations that restrict the involvement of security agencies in voting and collation processes, check underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register.”
Mr. Ologbondiyan urged Mr Yakubu to pursue an amendment to the electoral act to make it mandatory for INEC to publish the voter register online, thus terminating the doctoring of the register and accreditation process.
“It is therefore instructive to restate that with the new appointment, Yakubu has been given an ample time and opportunity to redeem the image of the Commission and give our nation a credible election.
“(We need a) credible election that will be devoid of the failures, disappointments, miscarriages and litigations.
“Our party urges the reappointed INEC Chairman to note that the 2023 general election will hugely impact the fate of over 200 million Nigerians.
“As such, he must ensure that the nation does not go down in his hands,” Mr Ologbondiyan said.