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2023: Politicians are sabotaging our efforts – INEC

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THE Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu has said Nigerian politicians are sabotaging efforts by the Commission to conduct a credible election in 2023.

He also said INEC has become the primary target for politicians who are desperate to win elections at all cost.

Yakubu raised the concerns while speaking at an annual summit organized by the National Institute of Strategic Studies (NIPPs) in Abuja on Tuesday, November 29.

The Chairman was represented by an INEC Director, Hauwa Habib.

He said; “On national security and vote buying, the Commission is saddened by the level of electoral insecurity today.

“The trend has gone beyond targeting political opponents to sabotaging efforts of the Commission towards making elections better. The Commission’s electoral materials are in danger and it takes time to reproduce these materials.

“The safety of our ad hoc staff is also of concern. The fresh method employed in vote buying is alarming. Each time INEC takes steps to curb electoral crisis, politicians devise more steps to subvert INEC’s efforts.”

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He noted that since 1999, electoral amendments have been made to curb the excesses of politicians.

“We have made giant strides with the enactment of Electoral Act 2022, which will be put to test during the general election of 2023. We have succeeded in bringing about 83 amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act.

“These improvements are in the areas of electoral disputes. The electoral system itself needs improvement. The main task is to implement reforms aimed at incremental and positive changes that are sustaining.”

Meanwhile, Yakubu called on the police and other security agencies to ensure the safety of INEC staff and the credibility of the 2023 general elections.

“Insecurity impacts on our physical and psychological force, freedom of fundamental rights, the environment and the territorial integrity. The integrity and sanctity of the election could also be eroded”, he said.

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Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: somanga@icirnigeria.org

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