INEC Has Nothing to Hide –Yakubu, INEC Chair

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday said contrary to what some people may think, it has nothing to hide regarding the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu stated this at the Post Election Review of the 2023 General Elections with media stakeholders in Lagos.

Yakubu said there were many positive things that came out of the 2023 elections, despite the many challenges.

The chairman admitted that despite the challenges during the last elections, there would be continuous improvement by the commission in conducting elections nationwide.

“This is an opportunity for the media executives in their various organisations to tell us what they have seen and how we can continue to improve the electoral process in the future.

‘’The commission has nothing to hide and it is this type of interaction that will continuously improve on the process for future elections.

“Clearly, there are many positives coming from the general elections and at the same time, we admit that there are many challenges in the last election.

“There are several election litigations at the various elections tribunals nationwide while we should be careful not to touch on issues that are clearly subjudice”, Yakubu said.

He said INEC invited media executives that operate at the state, local governments and community levels that had covered the elections and interacted with Nigerians in their local languages.

The commission, in addition to what it did in Abuja in the previous week, according to him, would also listen to the executives on what came out of reporters about the elections at local and community levels.

it is through these interactions and discussions with the media, he noted, that the commission could widen the scope of consultations on the elections.

Yakubu stated that as part of the review it was undertaking, the commission would like to know what constraints the media experienced right from the process of accreditation, to access to locations of polling units and collation centres during the elections.

He said it would also want to get appraisals on the security arrangements and advice for improvement, going forward.

The INEC chair said that the commission might approach the National Assembly to amend the law to accommodate Nigerians that were unable to vote, because of the nature of their jobs.

“For instance, there are many Nigerians that did not have the opportunity to vote on election day simply because our laws say that you can only vote where you are registered.

“So most of the journalists on the election day worked in places other than where they are registered so they didn’t have the opportunity to vote.

“This doesn’t apply only to journalists, it also applies to officials of INEC itself; the regular and ad-hoc officials, including the security agencies.

“So through this kind of interaction, we get recommendations coming from stakeholders and see what area we are going to approach the National Assembly to amend the laws”, he said.