The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, has said INEC had nothing hidden regarding the 2023 general elections, prior to what people are saying.
Mahmood made this statement at the Post Election Review of the 2023 General Elections with Media Stakeholders in Lagos on Wednesday (today).
According to NANs reports, Yakubu made it clear that there were many positive things that came out of the 2023 elections despite the various indifferent times.
The chairman admitted that despite the challenges during the last elections, there would be continuous improvement by the commission in conduct as regards elections nationwide.
“This is an opportunity for the media executives in their various organisations to tell us what you have seen and how we can continue to improve on the electoral process in the future.
‘”The commission has anything to hide and it is this type of interactions that we continuously improve on the process for future elections.
“Clearly, there are many positives coming from the general elections and at the same time we admit that there are many challenges in the last election.
“There are several elections litigations at the various elections tribunals nationwide while we should be careful not to touch on issues that are clearly subjudice.”
Yakubu said INEC invited media executives that operated at the states, local governments and community levels that had covered the elections and interacted with Nigerians in their local languages.
He said the commission, in addition to what it did in Abuja previous week, would also listen to the executives on what came out of reporters about the elections at local and community levels.
According to him, it is through this interactions and discussion with the media that the commission can widen the scope of consultations on the elections.
The INEC chairman stated that as part of the review it was undertaking, the commission would like to know what constraints the media experienced right from the process of accreditation, access to locations of polling units and collation centres during the elections.
He said it would also want to get appraisals on the security arrangements, and advise for improvement going forward.
Yakubu said that the commission may approach the National Assembly to amend the law to accommodate Nigerians that were unable to vote, because of the nature of their jobs.
“For instance, there are many Nigerians that did not have the opportunity to vote on the election day simply because our laws says that you can only vote where you are registered.
“So most of the journalists on the election day worked in places other than where they are registered so they don’t have the opportunity to vote.
“This doesn’t apply only to journalists, it also applies to officials of INEC itself; the regular and ad-hoc officials, including the security agencies.
“So through this kind of interactions, we get recommendations coming from stakeholders and see in what area we are going to approach the National Assembly to amend the laws.”