Guber Polls: Concerns Over INEC’s Credibility Heightens as CSOs Appeal for Voter Turnout

Guber Polls: Concerns Over INEC’s Credibility Heightens as CSOs Appeal for Voter Turnout

  • With less than three days to the much anticipated gubernatorial polls, electorates have been urged to troop out and vote
  • However, the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has once again been doubted
  • As a result, Connected Development (CODE) has urged INEC to restore the trust of electorates by remedying its shortcomings at the previous polls

FCT, Abuja - Ahead of the 2023 gubernatorial polls slated for Saturday, March 18, Connected Development (CODE) has raised concern over the possible reoccurrence of electoral irregularities witnessed at the presidential election.

Speaking to journalists at a conference attended by on Thursday, March 16, the executive director of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, said there is a need for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to redeem its image.

CODE, 2023 Election
Connected Development's executive director, Hamzat Lawal, addressing the media on Thursday, March 16, at the pre-election press briefing in Abuja. Photo: Jeremiah Chukwu/CODE
Source: Twitter

Hamzat said:

“At 27%, Nigeria recorded its lowest voter turnout despite recording the 87.2m PVCs collected.

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“From our reports, there were many cases of technical disenfranchisement where materials were not deployed to many Polling units across the country...
“While we expect INEC to have addressed these issues, it’s important to drum the fact that the general outcome of the 2023 elections will determine citizen’s engagement and participation in our democratic processes in the future, and so it is pertinent that INEC led by Chairman Yakubu Mahmood step up and ensure a seamless gubernatorial and state assembly election.
“It’s the first step towards rebuilding trust in the electorate, and it’s important to save our democracy.”

Also speaking, CODE’s director of Democracy and Governance, Emmanuel Njoku, expressed his worry over Saturday’s polls.

He stated that the outcome of the presidential polls had planted the seed of distrust in the minds of electorates who would most likely be heading to the ballot with doubts.

Njoku said:

“This Saturday, Nigerians will be going to the polls again; enough has been said about INEC. But for the electorates that are going to the polls, it’s a different kind of election.
“The first election on February 25, most Nigerians went to the polls very confident and trusted in the process and believing in the process. But the difference between this election and that one is that most Nigerians are going to this polls full of doubts in this process and the election."

Meanwhile, the convener of Election Eyewitness Observers Mission, Semiye Michael, urged electorates to protect their votes and resist any form of voter suppression.

Similarly, the country director of the Accountability Lab, Odeh Friday, implored Nigerian youths to take advantage of their numbers and vote on election day.

He stated that their votes would count as it would be an opportunity for them to elect their preferred candidate.

Guber Polls: Disparities Erupt Among APC, LP, IPAC as Doubts Over INEC’s Credibility Heightens earlier reported that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) faced severe criticism in the aftermath of the presidential polls.

More doubts have once again been raised over the commission's credibility in the build-up to the gubernatorial polls.

Less than 72 hours before the gubernatorial polls, the commission announced the postponement of the election.

2023 Governorship Elections: INEC Completes BVAS Re-configuration

In another development, the re-configuration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines has been completed.

This critical update was gotten from INEC officials who spoke with journalists on Tuesday, March 14.

The officials added that Nigerian Air Force is leading the airlift of the BVAS machines to where they will be deployed for Saturday, March 18, polls.


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