Use Edo, Ondo blueprints for Anambra, other polls, INEC tells ICCES
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged security operatives to maintain the same level of professionalism displayed in last year’s governorship polls in Edo and Ondo states for the Anambra State and subsequent elections.
Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the charge during Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
Despite few skirmishes, stakeholders had commended the electoral umpire and the role of security operatives in the Edo and Ondo governorship polls last year.
“Let me express the appreciation of the commission for the roles played by the members of ICCES in the conduct of the two off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states in September and October last year, as well as 16 legislative by-elections in 12 states in the last nine weeks.
“As you are aware, the commission has already released the timetable for the Anambra governorship election scheduled for November 6, 2021. We are also preparing for some legislative by-elections, the first of which is the Kafin Hausa State Assembly in Jigawa State on March 6, 2021. I urge you to maintain the same level of professionalism displayed in the recent elections and ultimately the 2023 general election,” Yakubu stated.
The INEC boss noted that members of ICCES were critical partners to the commission in delivering credible and peaceful elections, including orderly behaviour at the polling unit level.
He, however, maintained that the management of large crowds at polling units across the country had been challenging to INEC officials and security agencies, which, according to him, had, in some cases, resulted in late commencement of polls or disruption of sorting and counting of ballots at polling units.
Yakubu told the forum that such disruptions affected electoral outcomes leading, in some instances, to avoidable supplementary elections. His words: “The success of elections is largely a reflection of what happens at the polling unit level.”
It is the only point at which eligible citizens cast votes. What follows thereafter is the collation process leading to the declaration of results. However, the large crowds at some of our polling units on election day remains a challenge to the orderly management of elections. In your reports to the commission, some members of ICCES have alluded to this problem.”
He lamented that the 119,973 polling units in the country can no longer serve the increasing voting population, hence the need for the creation of more polling units.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) and Co-chairman of ICCES, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd.), commended the synergy and professionalism exhibited by security agencies in recent elections, while expressing optimism that future elections would be better.
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