The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the legal framework that will guide the 2023 general elections.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a special meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) to review security arrangements for the Ekiti State governorship election.
Yakubu said with the presentation of the Regulations and Guidelines, the Commission has concluded formal preparations for the polls.
With the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022, he said it had become necessary to review the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines to govern the conduct of elections.
He said the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines jointly constituted the electoral legal framework.
According to him, “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, he said, the training manual would also be presented to Nigerians.
He said the Commission would focus on election administration which included logistics, training, voter education, technology, sensitization against vote-buying, inclusivity measures, and above all, security.
He stressed that ICCES would continue to play a critical role while “the Commission appreciates the support of all security agencies.”
With only 15 days to the Ekiti governorship election, he said all the major activities that were supposed to be carried out at this stage had been successfully undertaken.
He said: “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.”