The Independent National Electoral Commission has vowed to punish its officials, including ad-hoc or collation personnel, who may have been found wanting in the conduct of the Saturday, February 25 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners.
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.
“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.”
Yakubu told the RECs that it was imperative for the Commission to review performances from Saturday’s election.
He noted that the elections were painstakingly done but they came with issues ranging from technology, delay by election officials, and attitudes of political party agents among others.
The INEC Chairman stated that a lot of lessons have been learnt from the presidential elections ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Yakubu explained, “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 the 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.
“Of immediate concern to the Commission is how the identified challenges can be addressed as we approach the concluding phase of the General Election involving the largest number of constituencies i.e. 28 State Governorship elections and 993 State Houses of Assembly seats.”