Nigeria is trouble as INEC says Electoral Act Amendment will not guarantee free elections

MR MAHMOOD YAKUBU (INEC CHAIRMAN)

Nigeria may be in serious trouble as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) revealed that the electoral legal framework will not automatically guarantee or lead to improvement in the management and conduct of elections.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this in an address delivered on his behalf by the INEC National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye at a three-day retreat of the Joint Technical Committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2020 which ended in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Yakubu, amending the Electoral Act without a commitment from stakeholders to do things differently, cannot guarantee free and fair elections.

The INEC boss expressed gratitude to the Senate Committee on INEC and the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters; for working together to produce a new legal framework for the conduct of elections.

He, however said, “It must be borne in mind that amending the electoral legal framework will not automatically guarantee or lead to improvement in the management and conduct of elections.

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“The Constitution and the Electoral Act can only be effective through the action and inaction of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process.

“The Constitution and Electoral Act can enhance the electoral process if the electoral management body, political parties and the electoral actors, the security agencies, the media and civil society organisations, effectively play their roles.

“Nigeria’s democracy and electoral processes will become more robust if critical stakeholders in the process resolve to restore sovereignty to the people as the true determinant of the outcome.

“This renewed drive is timely and must be sustained and approached with a sense of history and urgency. The reform must be impactful and should be concluded by the first quarter of 2021.’’

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