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Amendment of Electoral Act won’t guarantee free, fair elections –INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that the amendment of the Electoral Act without due consultation and commitment from stakeholders is no guarantee for the conduct of free and fair elections.

This was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who noted that the Constitution and the Electoral Act can only be effective through the action and inaction of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process.

Yakubu in the statement issued 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, said that other electoral actors, including; security agencies, the media and civil society organisations, need to effectively play their roles to enhance electoral processes.

According to the INEC boss, 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.

Yakubu 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.

READ ALSO: INEC advocates ‘bipartisan’ approach to Electoral Act amendment

“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,’’ he added.

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