As preparation for the 2023’s General Elections picks up pace, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, during the second quarterly meeting with RECs in Abuja, charged Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to work towards addressing some re-occurring logistics issues in the conduct of elections and ensure that the 2023 general elections are different from all previous elections in terms of INECs preparations and delivery.
Professor Yakubu explained that the meeting would review the engagements with stakeholders on the proposed expansion of voters’ access to Polling Units as well as preparations for the Continuous Voter Registration exercise, among other things. He said “as we continue to plan for the next General Election, the RECs have been directed to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials in order to determine shortfalls and take early steps to ensure their adequacy and availability.
As a news organization, we appreciate the INEC chairman’s proactive steps so far taken. Without a doubt, it present plans qualifies as a sign of good outcome that Nigeria and Nigerians should expect in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
This early preparation by the Commission becomes even more appreciated when one remembers that the inability of INEC to organize credible, free, and fair elections in the last two decades exposed the nation to the pangs of sociopolitical challenges that day prevent her from enthroning true democracy that ensures a corruption-free society.
While we celebrate this development, we also deem it important to remind INEC that an election is said to be credible when it is organized in an atmosphere of peace, devoid of rancour and acrimony.
The outcome of such an election must be acceptable to a majority of the electorate and it must be acceptable within the international community. That If elections are to be free and fair, laws designed in that regard must not just exist; they must be operational and be enforced. And the power of freedom of choice conferred on the electorates must be absolute and not questionable.
We also call on Nigerians to take the forthcoming general election as a major step that will usher in the Nigerian of our dreams. We can only achieve this dream by voting objectively without consideration for instant gratification. We must all-cap ourselves with our Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) as well as make ourselves available on the Election Day in order to ensure that the right people are voted to power.
Most importantly, we should be ready to defend our votes.