Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday, gave Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) one week to submit the inventory for the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu, who gave the directive at a meeting with the RECs in Abuja, said the 2023 general elections must be different from all previous elections in the country.
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He said the meeting was to, among other issues; review the engagements with stakeholders on the proposed expansion of voters’ access to Polling Units (PUs) as well as the commission’s preparations for the commencement of the Continuous Registration of Voters (CVR).
“The two activities are inter-related. Our plan is to conclude the on-going consultations and the actual work on the Polling Units in earnest so that the new locations will be made public for eligible registrants to choose where they wish to register and vote on election day.
“Furthermore, those who wish to replace their lost or damaged Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), as well as those who are already registered but who may wish to apply for transfer of their registration from one location to another, will be able to do so as provided by law.
“As we continue to plan for the next general elections, the RECs have been directed to compile and submit an inventory of all election materials to determine shortfalls and take early steps to ensure their adequacy and availability. Only a few states are still outstanding,” Yakubu said.
He told the states that are yet to make their submissions to do so by the end of this week, saying that would enable the commission to address some of the logistics issues that had become a recurring decimal in the conduct of elections in the past.
He said that the commission was committed to deepening the culture of planning for elections, noting that the current five-year plan covering the period 2017-2021 expires this year.
“For this reason, a committee involving the participation of some RECs was inaugurated a few weeks ago to review the Strategic Plan (SP) and the Strategic Programme of Action (SPA) to cover the next cycle of five years, from 2022-2026.
“The committee is making good progress. Its report should be submitted by the end of this month to enable the commission to engage stakeholders for its validation and subsequent implementation. I want to assure Nigerians that this will be accomplished long before the expiry of the current plan at the end of this year,” Yakubu said.