2023: Centre lauds Yakubu over transparent conduct of polls

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…warns disgruntled politicians against blackmailing INEC

The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has commended the Independent Nationl Electoral Commission (INEC) over the free, fair and transparent conduct of the last general elections.

The Centre, at a press conference on Sunday, in Abuja, also commended INEC chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu for his display of courage in ensuring the credibility of the electoral process despite the attempts by some mischievous elements to cast aspersion on his reputation.

In his address, executive secretary Comrade Isaac Ikpa said according to reports from observers across the country, the exercise was a huge success.

Ikpa said, “those asking for the head of the INEC Chairman are the real enemies of Nigeria because their assumptions and allegations are a figment of their imaginations and not the reality on the ground”.

While admitting that the elections did come with attendant challenges, he said writing off the whole process as lacking in credibility would be preposterous.

Ikpa said: “May we use this medium to highlight that the African Union Observer Mission led by the former president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta commended the electoral process thus: ‘The Mission commends INEC on the progressive measures taken to promote greater participation in the electoral process, including giving priority to the elderly, People with Disabilities, and other marginalized groups. Significant progressive reforms were a key feature of the 2023 general elections. Some of the reforms were a result of recommendations made in previous AU observation missions. The Mission noted that despite the challenging economic, operational, and security environment, the elections were generally well-administered in a transparent and peaceful atmosphere.’

“The Commonwealth Observer Group, led by the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki also commended the electoral process stating that ‘Nigerians were largely accorded the right to vote.’ The chairperson also noted an improvement with the enactment of a new Electoral Act in 2022, which gave the electoral commission more autonomy, legal backing for the use of electronic accreditation of voters, and frameworks for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the elections, among other things.

“Thus, the 2023 General Elections were indeed free, fair, and credible. And may we use this medium to advise those persons and groups after the head of the INEC Chairman to face their opponents instead of the INEC chairperson and commission staffers.

“The 2023 General elections have come and gone it would go down in history as one of the most keenly contested elections, as well as one of the freest, fair, and most credible elections in the country’s annals.

“The Centre for Social Justice is using this medium to commend the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for the conduct of the 2023 General elections and with emphasis on the technological innovations that were introduced despite the efforts of saboteurs to discredit the electoral process.”

The Centre, however, advised those “displeased with the electoral process and the outcome to seek redress through lawful means instead of casting aspersion on the personality of the INEC Chairman for reasons best known to them”.

It said: “The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency scores the Independent National Electoral Commission high on the conduct of the 2023 General Elections.”

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