The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said on Tuesday that the commission would consolidate on the success of the governorship elections held in Osun and Ekiti States in the delivery of election materials.
He spoke during an expert review meeting on election logistics for the 2023 general election organised by ActionAid Nigeria and the Ford Foundation in Lagos on Tuesday.
He also assured that the commission would improve on its processes and procedures to give Nigerians a pleasant experience at the forthcoming polls.
He said, “In 2018, the Commission organised a similar meeting for critical stakeholders ahead of the 2019 general elections. The focus of the meeting was to review the perennial challenges associated with electoral logistics and how to address them. Since then, the commission has improved on the delivery of logistics in particular and the election administration in general.
“The commission is determined to build on the successes recorded in the recent elections in Ekiti and Osun states to improve the delivery of election materials. In this regard, we welcome the collaboration of Action Aid Nigeria for building these stakeholders together to deliberate on a very critical issue. The commission is determined to continuously improve the processes and procedures to give Nigerians a pleasant experience on Election Day. In achieving this cause, we need the support and partnership of all stakeholders.
“By your presence at this meeting, you have demonstrated your willingness to partner with the commission, and we are encouraged by such demonstration of support and commitment to the success of the electoral process as we continue to make steady progress in the implementation of our plans.”
The Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, assured that the police force would provide security for all persons and properties that would be involved in the entire process of the 2023 polls.
The IG, who was represented by the Commissioner of Police Federal Operations, Edem Effiong, said, “The interaction helps in reviewing the developing political programmes as laid out by INEC and charts a clear pathway to resume the electoral process in the countdown to the 2023 general elections. As we all know, INEC has since confirmed the commencement of electoral campaigns for political parties. It is worth noting that the Nigeria Police Force’s statutory obligations include election security, political campaigns, and security tolerance. Political actors are advised to play the games by the Electoral Act 2022, while the Nigeria Police Force ensures the safety and security of all persons and properties involved in the entire electoral process.
The Regional Director, West Africa Ford Foundation, Chichi Aniagolu, said logistics have been a major challenge during the electioneering period in the country, hence the need for the meeting.
She said, “If production companies can get their goods to the nooks and crannies of the country every single day, there is no reason why we cannot get people to vote once every four years. The reason why we have wanted to support this initiative is that we have seen that logistics is one of the challenges we have to ensure that people can exercise their franchise.”