By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
A National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Barrister Festus Okoye has reiterated the determination of the Commission to conduct a free and fair elections.
He also argued that INEC has deepened the use of technology in the conduct of elections hence the successes recorded in the recently concluded elections in some states of Nigeria.
Okoye who spoke Wednesday at an interactive session with INEC Press Corps at the Commission’s Media Centre, Abuja in the company of INEC Director of Information & Voter Education, Nick Danzang and Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, revealed that INEC has mapped out an elaborate plans on how to organise a rancour-free elections in 2023.
According to him: “the Commission has embarked on elaborate plans on how to organise a free and fair elections in 2023 and for this reason we will continue to deploy technology which has proved successful in few states including Edo Governorship Election”.
He however said Anambra gubernatorial election will be conducted under the existing INEC Electoral Guidelines although technology will also be used like in Edo state.
Okoye disclosed that INEC has been consulting with all the stakeholders to ensure that everybody is on the same page, adding that “we have been in consultation with National Assembly, political parties, relevant agencies and National Economic Council (NEC), etc, on the need for all to adopt the new INEC Framework which will solve many problems in the electoral system”.
Among them are the conversion of the Voting Points to Polling Units in the next General Elections, pointing out that,”when the new Polling Units are approved Nigerians of 18 years and above will have the opportunity to register and vote at Polling Units very close to them”.
Okoye said INEC will be much pleased if the National Assembly will finish its work on the new Electoral Reforms Law which he said will make the job of the Commission very easy.
Meanwhile, the INEC top official revealed that the Commission will soon organise Training and Seminars for the INEC Press Corps, arguing that, “covering the Commission is tedious task in many respects hence the way newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) learn on the job is the same way Press Corps learn how to cover the Commission”.