Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said “despite divergent opinions about outcome of the (2023) election, overall outlook suggests it is a fair reflection of a complex multi-party democracy.” Yakubu also said, compared to previous elections, it was one of the most meticulously prepared for in recent times.
The INEC boss disclosed this, yesterday, while addressing Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. Yakubu said the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) technology used in the elections recorded 98 per cent success, compared to the 29.2 per cent seen with Smart Card Readers in 2019.
He noted that elections held in 1,491 constituencies and featured one presidential, 28 governorship, 109 senatorial, 360 federal constituency, and 993 state Assembly seats.
He said: “Our record shows that these elections have produced the most diverse outcomes ever recorded since 1999. Today, five political parties produced state governors, seven parties won senatorial seats, eight are represented in the House of Representatives and nine in state Houses of Assembly. Clearly, the 10th National Assembly is the most diverse in party representation since 1999.
“In some states around the country, different political parties control legislative and executive arms of government. What is clear from these records also is that the days of single-party dominance of our national politics are probably gone. Furthermore, many prominent candidates lost in the constituencies they contested, and political parties lost in some of their presumed strongholds.”
Yakubu, who admitted there were challenges, which he described as structural, infrastructural and human, said the commission is determined to address the issues as it prepares for future elections.
He disclosed that the commission received 215 case files from the Nigeria Police Force, with respect to infractions, and that the electoral body is working with Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to prosecute offenders.
Yakubu added that the commission received a police report on suspended Adamawa REC, Yunusa Ari, saying INEC would soon take appropriate actions concerning him.
According to him, NBA has already submitted a list of 427 lawyers who have volunteered to render pro bono services to the commission. He said the lawyers would not be charging legal fees but by mutual agreement, the commission would provide a token amount to cover filing fees and other expenses.