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INEC admits hitches in presidential election, to bar erring staff from March 11 polls



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday admitted the hitches in last weekend’s presidential and National Assembly elections in the country.

The commission had been heavily criticized over its poor conduct of the elections with many claiming that the process was marred by operational failures including malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and late arrival of election materials to the polling units.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party had also rejected the results of the election over INEC’s refusal to upload the outcome on its server and vowed to challenge the declaration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as Nigeria’s president-elect in court.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who spoke at a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) in Abuja, said the officials responsible for the mistakes that marred the last elections would not be involved in the March 11 governorship and houses of assembly elections.

He stressed the need for the commission to review its performances in the February 25 elections and look into the preparation for next weekend’s polls.

He said: “As we approach the governorship and state assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.

READ ALSO: INEC boss, Yakubu meets with RECs ahead of guber polls, assures improved BVAS

“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.

“No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen.

“The issues of logistics, election technology, the behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, and attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election. A lot of lessons have been learnt.”

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