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INEC Releases Guidelines For 2023 Polls, Bars Phone Calls During Result Collation

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has barred election officials from making or receiving calls during collation of results.

This is contained in the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the 2023 general elections released by the Commission, Friday.

INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said with the presentation of the Regulations and Guidelines, the Commission has concluded formal preparations for the 2023 polls.

He said it was the first time the Commission is releasing the guidelines nine months to the general elections.

The document was presented during the meeting of Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.

According to him: “With the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022, it has become necessary to review the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines to govern the conduct of elections. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines constitute the electoral legal framework.

“On several occasions, the Commission has assured Nigerians that we are finalizing the Regulations and Guidelines for the elections. I am glad to announce that the document is ready and will be presented to Nigerians shortly. The soft copy will be uploaded to our website with the link shared on our social media platforms.

“With the release of the Regulations and Guidelines today, and the publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022-2026 and Election Project Plan 2023 earlier, the Commission has virtually concluded the planning processes for the 2023 General Election nine months ahead of the election. In the next couple of weeks, the training manual will also be presented to Nigerians.

“Going forward, the Commission will focus on election administration: logistics, training, voter education, technology, sensitization against vote buying, inclusivity measures and, above all, security”.

On the Ekiti governorship election, Yakubu said that all major things needed for the election have been put in place.

He said: “With only 15 days to the Ekiti governorship election, all the major activities that are supposed to be carried out at this stage have been successfully undertaken. I led a team of INEC National Commissioners to Ekiti State early this week to assess the Commission’s preparations for the elections.

“We visited our offices in several Local Government Areas, held meetings with our staff, had audience with the Council of Obas to solicit the support of their Royal Majesties for peaceful elections and met with the security agencies. We also observed the ongoing training of ad hoc staff and the deployment of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for mock accreditation of voters in some Polling Units across the three Senatorial Districts of the State.

“We will again return to Ekiti State shortly to meet with the stakeholders and for the signing of the Peace Accord by political parties and candidates under the auspices of the National Peace Committee.

“As the Commission is getting ready for the Ekiti State Governorship election, we have also gone far with similar preparations for the Osun State Governorship election holding next month i.e. Saturday 16th July 2022. At the same time, the Commission continues with preparations for the 2023 General Election”.

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