By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja, March 8, 2021 The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has directed all Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to submit an inventory of all election materials under their care before March 12.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the directive on Monday at a meeting with the RECs in Abuja, said the move would enable the commission prepare early for 2023 general election.
Yakubu restated the commission’s commitment to deepening the culture of planning for elections.
“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.
“Only a few states are still outstanding. I wish to remind the states that are yet to make their submissions to do so by the end of this week.
“This will enable us to address some of the logistics issues that have become a recurring decimal in the conduct of elections in the past.
“The 2023 general elections must be different from all previous elections in terms of our preparations and readiness,” Yakubu said.
He said that the meeting would among other things review the commission’s engagements with stakeholders on the planned expansion of voters’ access to polling units.
Yakubu said the meeting would also discuss INEC preparations for the commencement of the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).
Our plan is to conclude the ongoing 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,” he said.
Yakubu said that the report of committee inaugurated on Feb. 9 to review INEC strategic plan as well projections for future elections would be ready by end of March.
“The current five-year plan covering the period 2017-2021 expires in 2021.
“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 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 2021,” he said.
Yakubu said that the commission would release the time table for by-election for Isoko North State Constituency in Delta House of Assembly before the end of the week.
He commended the RECs and staff of the commission for ensuring that Magama/Rijau Federal Constituency re-run election and the Kafin Hausa State Constituency by-election in Niger and Jigawa, met the standard for credible elections.
He advised them to strive to do better in the forthcoming by-election in Ekiti and Abia.
The election included Ekiti East State Constituency 1 by-election scheduled for March 20 and the Aba North/Aba South Federal Constituency by-election in Abia on March 27.