INEC Announces Readiness to Proceed with Elections with Publication of ‘Notice of Polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has recently made an announcement regarding the 2023 General Election. The Commission published the Notice of Polls for the upcoming election and declared that it is fully prepared and ready to carry out the election process smoothly. INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, made this announcement during a meeting with the President and CEO of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Mr. Anthony N. Banbury.
To ensure that everything is in order for the upcoming election, INEC conducted a self-audit of its preparations. The results of the audit indicated that the Commission has successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities outlined in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities. This is a significant accomplishment for INEC and a positive sign for the upcoming election.
According to Section 44 of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the Notice of Polls must be published at least 14 days before the election. The notice must include crucial information such as the date and hours of voting, who is eligible to vote, and the locations of the polling units. By publishing this information well in advance, INEC aims to provide transparency and clarity to the voters, enabling them to make informed decisions on election day.
“This meeting is holding today when we are implementing the 12th activity – the Publication of the Notice of Polls – meaning that we have so far successfully implemented 12 out of 14 activities on schedule.
“So, there are only two activities outstanding. The first one is the end of campaign by political parties, which by law is 24 hours before polling day, which is going to be on the 23rd of February for the Presidential and National Assembly elections and the 10th of March for the States governorship and States Assembly, and then, the election day proper, which is on the 25th of February for the Presidential and National Assembly and on the 11th of March for the state elections”, he stated.
While he said the logistics arrangement for the polls has been reassuring, the INEC chairman added that the technological innovations for the elections have been tested and that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, would again be tested this Saturday in a nationwide mock accreditation exercise.
He said; “The preparation has gone on very well. And then with the benefit of the new Electoral Act, we have more time to prepare than our predecessors had in the past. We are working with the National Union of Road Transport Workers to make sure that we get logistics right so that we deploy personnel and materials to locations early enough so that we can open the polling units, conclude the processes at the polling units and quickly declare the outcome of the elections, as decided by Nigerians swiftly. The earlier we conclude the processes, the speed with which we also declare winners and conclude the processes”.
Earlier, Mr Banbury said his team was at the commission to pay respects to INEC’s management for the work they have been doing in deepening democracy and to also listen to the commission on the level of its preparations for the polls.