INEC Restrategises for Improved Electoral Process Ahead of 2023 Elections
…Holds National Retreat on 2022-2026 Master Plan
In a strategic bid to enhance the nation’s electoral process and system, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has rallied its top personnel and partners, to strategise ahead of the 2023 national general elections in Nigeria, THECONSCIENCE reports.
At a national retreat held in Lagos between May 30 and June 3, the commission assembled its key personnel and senior officials including INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) across the states of the federation and development partners and deliberated on the Validation of the Draft INEC 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and Strategic Programme of Actions.
This move, the electoral body said, was because the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan and Strategic Programme of action is presently on the cusp of expiration, and in line with the existing practice of the commission, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has inaugurated a Strategic Plan Committee to chart the next course through brainstorming and deliberations to develop a system for institutionalizing continuous improvements at all levels towards actualizing the commission’s mandate.
The INEC Chairman who was represented by Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, a National Commissioner said it was essential for the commission to plan ahead for hitch free elections in coming years and also provide a strategic direction to achieve its mandate within the national and international contexts.
Yakubu added that the retreat is targeted at strengthening the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections as the build up to the general elections begin.
In his welcome address, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State Mr. Sam Olumekun expressed deep optimism, noting that he is hoping the 2022-2026 strategic plans would lead to significant improvements for the 2023 general elections.
In the same vein, INEC international development partners, European Union Support to Democratic Governance In Nigeria, ECES, applauded the initiative, stating that the Strategic Plan for 2022-2026 will facilitate an improved electoral environment ahead of the upcoming Governorship elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun next year, and then the 2023 General Elections.
Project Coordinator and ECES Nigeria Country Representative, Hamza Fassi-Fihri, expressed sympathy over the arson and attacks that the Commission faced post 2019 elections, stressing that it is quite unfortunate and regrettable charging that the situation warrants an emergency action by all critical stakeholders and lovers of democracy to prevent a repeat.
ECES promised to always stand by INEC and Nigerians to ensure that it gives necessary support towards enabling credible elections to hold in the country. ECES also urged security agencies to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators and to prevent such negative and criminal vices.
The INEC office in Njaba Local Government Area in Imo State was set ablaze on yesterday, bringing the total number of INEC offices burnt and vandalised to 42 since 2019.
Yakubu said the Commission is engaging with relevant stakeholders to change the narratives, as it remains committed to the discharge of its statutory responsibilities and duties of improving and sustaining democracy in Nigeria.