INEC bans negligent staff after hitches during presidential election
The commission said all the officials whose negligence led to the hitches experienced in the presidential election will not be part of the upcoming exercise.
This comes after INEC was heavily criticised by various political parties and election observers for organising a shoddy exercise on Saturday, February 25, 2023.
The elections were reportedly characterised by operational failures including but not limited to malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and late arrival of election materials to the polling units.
The development has led to rejection of the outcome by the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party, mainly over the commission's failure to upload polling units results on its result viewing platform before announcing a winner.
The two parties have called for the cancellation of the exercise and also vowed to challenge the declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as Nigeria’s president-elect in court.
Reviewing the commission's performance in the Saturday exercise, Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, admitted that there were hitches in the presidential and national assembly elections in the country.
He made this known while speaking at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja, on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
He promised that the officials responsible for the glitches that marred the last elections will not be engaged for the March 11 governorship and state assembly elections.
Yakubu's words: “As we approach the governorship and state assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.
“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.
“No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen.
“The issues of logistics, election technology, the behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, and attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.
“We appreciate the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election. A lot of lessons have been learnt.”
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