Why INEC budgeted N305b for 2023 elections — Yakubu

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THE Chairman of the Independent National Elector­al Commission (INEC), Professor Mah­mood Yakubu, said, Friday, that the 2023 gener­al election will be the best ever conducted in Nigeria.

Yakubu gave the assur­ance when he engaged members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) at their forum in Lagos, stressing that: “Apart from being free, fair, transpar­ent and credible, next year’s election will have an additional feature, it will be verifiable.”

The INEC Chair dis­missed the claim by the Coalition of United Po­litical Parties (CUPP), which alleged through its spokesman, Ikenga Ugo­chinyere, of the existence of fictitious names in the INEC voter register.

Ugochinyere had dis­played extracts from the national voters register which it claimed were part of at least ten million fake registrations done by one of the political parties.

“The names were sourced from both with­in and outside Nigeria including some African countries such as Gha­na, Cameroon, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Togo, Guinea, Gambia and countries outside Africa including Jamaica, Brazil and New Zealand,” he claimed as he displayed a purported reg­ister of voters at a press conference.

But Prof. Yakubu dis­missed the claim as to­tal falsehood, wondering where they got the so-called register of voters when INEC is still clean­ing up the register and therefore does not have any valid voter register at the moment.

The INEC chairman confirmed that no few­er than 97 million voters had been captured in the INEC database, stressing that this number is huge compared to the volume of voter registers in other countries in the ECOWAS sub-region.

He described the Nige­rian election as huge in comparison to elections in other parts of Africa. He said the cumulative voter register of the other 14 countries in West Africa stands at about 70 million, far short of the number in Nigeria.