The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has on Thursday, said that the Commission alone cannot guarantee smooth elections in 2023, calling on all Nigerians to join hands with INEC, to achieve the free and fair general elections they deeply desire, .
The Chairman of INEC stated this during the public presentation of the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, and the 2023 Election Project Plan, which held in Abuja.
According to him, the documents presented were the third in the series of Strategic Election Plans, since the era of deliberate planning of elections started in 2012.
His words: “As you may be aware, the election will be conducted for 1,491 Constituencies nationwide, made up of one Presidential Constituency, 109 Senatorial Districts, 360 Federal Constituencies, 28 Governorship elections, and 993 State Constituencies.
“The election will involve an estimated one million Electoral Officials (both permanent and temporary or ad hoc staff) deployed to 176,846 Polling Units, in 8,809 Wards, and 774 Local Government Areas, across the country.
“The election will be governed by a new Electoral Act 2022, which contains many progressive provisions that will enhance the capacity of the Commission to conduct elections, and manage the electoral process better.
“We have carefully listened to the demand of Nigerians for seamless processes, particularly with regard to enhanced voter education, better distribution of voters to polling units, quality training of election personnel, functionality of electronic devices, improved logistics, prompt commencement of polls, availability of assistive devices for persons with disability at polling units, and greater transparency in result management.
“We are also aware of the security challenges and their impact on the electoral process. We will continue to engage early and intensely with the Security Agencies, to ensure the safety of our personnel and materials, accredited observers and the media, and above all, the voters.
“Clearly, these are challenging times, but we are determined that election must hold in 2023. However, this is a shared responsibility. INEC plays a critical role, but the Commission alone cannot deliver the elections we all desire. I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to join hands with us in ensuring that we make a success of the process.
“Let me once again reiterate that the dates for all activities in the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections are firm and fixed, and all Stakeholders are advised to take this into consideration in planning their activities.”