The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave a reassuring statement to the citizens of Nigeria, promising to replicate the successful outcome of the Osun and Ekiti gubernatorial elections in the upcoming month.
The assurance was given at the Election Monitoring and Support Centre (EMSC) Amber Zone Implementers Workshop for 2023 General Elections, which was organized by INEC in collaboration with Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) and European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN).
READ ALSO: INEC’s Inaction Results in Disenfranchisement of Flood-Ravaged Community Residents in 2023 Election”
In his address, Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, emphasized the importance of the EMSC as a proactive measure to reducing challenges during elections. He explained that while INEC’s constitutional responsibility is to conduct elections that are free, fair, credible and without issues, the commission must demonstrate its ability, determination and commitment to undertake a credible exercise next year.
“It’s clear that all eyes are on INEC, Nigeria’s electoral umpire, concerning the conduct of the much-anticipated 2023 general elections. It is, therefore, imperative that all hands must be on deck to support and avail preparations that are on top gear for a resounding success in the forthcoming general elections. The commission cannot just afford to fail because the consequences would be too grave to contemplate,” Agbaje added.
Special Adviser to INEC Chairman, Prof. Mohammed Kuna, while stressing the importance of the training to overall health of the electoral process, acknowledged that preparations had begun in earnest.
He emphasized the need to take inventory of readiness state-by-state and council-by-council. He said, “This training provides us at both HQ (Headquarters) and state levels, an opportunity and the necessary tools to have clear assessment of the readiness statuses, as well as to have total control over all planned activities.”
Kuna further stated that although an election holds in day, but the activities leading to its conduct are numerous and involve crisscrossing responsibilities that must be shouldered by all.
He said, “Each has a role to play, and no role is too small in the effort to do this. We have done this before in Ekiti and Osun. We can do it again by meticulously monitoring implementation of the 2023 general elections in the remaining days to identify gaps, assess risks and provide overall leadership and guidance to the entire range of ad hoc staff in the field.”
He concluded by saying that identified gaps must be filled and emergent risks addressed so that voters can come out on election day to cast their votes for their preferred candidates. The commission has promised Nigerians the best election it has so far conducted.