2023 Elections: INEC Should Be 100% Trusted- Reps. Member

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The Lawmaker Representing the Egbado North/Imeko Afon Federal Constituency of Ogun State, Jimoh Aremu has said that there is a need to trust and believe in INEC to deliver in the 2023 elections

Hon. Aremu said this on Wednesday in his office at the National Assembly Complex while reacting to questions from our House of Representatives correspondent on his take on INEC’s preparedness to conduct a credible election in 2023.

The lawmakers said that believing and trusting in the electoral body is something very important at the moment, he stated that the irregularities that had for long diminished the integrity of the country’s electoral system are now history.

“In 2015, the people of Nigeria trusted INEC, and INEC didn’t fail them, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its former Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega conducted a remarkably, credible and transparent electoral process in the face of many challenges

Mahmood Yakubu came in, I think he has done very well too, and he is to be trusted given all the available parameters, and going by his words, I think he should be given benefit of the doubt.

“There is no need to be afraid that elections will not hold come 2023, I understand the fear of Nigerians due to past experiences but, INEC has taken lessons from the 2019 elections and the recently conducted Ekiti and Osun governorship elections and will improve on its strategies in conducting elections in 2023.

“I want to seize this opportunity to assure Nigerians that this present commission will be bold and courageous in prosecuting the 2023 general elections,” he said.

“No doubt there were a lot of challenges in the past elections, but I believe there will be elections in 2023 in spite of all the shortcomings recorded by INEC here and there, I know there are pockets of challenges, but to me, I think no challenge is insurmountable, INEC is capable of fixing and overcoming them all, by the grace of God.

Hon. Aremu again encouraged Nigerians that the 2023 elections will hold and will be free and fair, it may shift from the main date, even though I don’t see the possibility of the elections being shifted for now, but if it requires it, it won’t be the first time such a thing will happen in the electoral history of Nigeria, the general election of 2019 was postponed and the Chairman of INEC listed challenges that delay in delivering ballot papers and result sheets, occasioned in part by flight challenges due to bad weather, but at the end, elections were conducted.

“I think that’s just the worst that can happen but saying elections won’t hold there is no possibility of such.

“I am here to boldly say INEC is on the right path, both the INEC Chairman and his subordinate are really trying their best, they have not complained to us in the National Assembly, that they are been starved of funds, what about the bill we approved for them, just to ensure that there will be smooth elections come 2023, and demanding by their daily submissions, they are trying their best and assured that the era of election rigging is gone, there will be some monitors who will act as their undercover agents to ensure free and fair elections.

According to the Lawmaker, “The work done by INEC may be very hectic work, very challenging work, but I must say very satisfactory work from our own point of view.

We cannot underestimate the enormity of the challenges. We in the National Assembly have also done our best under the circumstances, and with the ways in which elections are conducted in Nigeria, many Nigerian are still disappointed in what INEC does, but this time, we believe that we have done quite a lot, and INEC on their side have done a lot, they have lift the bar in terms of transparency and the credibility of the electoral process by the BVAS.

The Chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has encouraged Nigerians that the electoral umpire would deploy appropriate technology “to protect the sanctity of the choice made by Nigerians at the polls” at the 2023 general election.

Aremu explained that the challenge for Nigerians as Nigeria moves toward the 2023 elections is to learn the lessons of all the elections we have so far conducted, and to continue to plan and improve upon the conduct of subsequent elections.

He said that INEC is not complaining, INEC is so far in the right direction, “I can say this again, and we are pleased with how far they have gone.

“There is no way we will say INEC is not getting it right, who are we to say they are not getting it right when they are not complaining, we can’t be insinuating problems on their behalf, if they think or they are not getting it right or facing challenges, they should speak up so will all look at it critically and help out.

He added that the question as to whether the saver will break down again is a technical question, “I can’t predict such, but the INEC Chairman will know better, but as I earlier said, for now, there is no reported challenge, we are hoping, believing and trusting God that the saver won’t disappoint Nigerians this time around.

“Another serious thing is, there has been a paradigm shift in the way we used to conduct elections in this country and the way elections are been conducted nowadays, you will never belong to a different political party where the party in power in the state is different from your own party, and you will be given any opportunity to use any government facility in the state, so it is indicated that we are improving and moving ahead, and all these measures are been introduced by the INEC as a body.

“So far, we can come to a conclusion that the elections of 2023 are going to be free and fair, INEC is to be trusted 100 percent on this.

Representative Abdullahi Mamudu Lawmaker representing Agaie/Lapai Federal Constituency of Niger State on his part said that the INEC Chairman to an extent has expressed serious concerns on the level of preparedness of its highest level, and assured Nigerians that, he is going to conduct free and fair elections.

Going by his words, “I am bold enough to agree that the 2023 elections are going to hold, not just hold but will be free and fair.

“Mr. Mamood Yakubu and his team have conducted the 2019 elections, there were challenges in the 2019 elections and over the years he has worked to improve on the things he thought were the issues.

Hon. Mamudu said, the worries of Nigerians traditionally have always been to insinuate and predict things that won’t come to pass, why are Nigerians insinuating war, I assure you that Nigerians won’t be disappointed this time around, have learned from past experiences. It is very normal that people will always want to discourage the process, but it is the responsibility of the electoral body to work things out and they have been doing that,

He further said that this free and fair election will not only shock Nigerians but will also put unending smiles on them, because, INEC is working with the government and institutions to make sure things are right with Nigeria this time around.

“I recalled recently they have had interactions with the security agencies to get themselves fully prepared, and I know they are not sleeping over this matter for the right things to be done.

The INEC Charman has assured us and I think there won’t be a saver breakdown this time around.

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