During a recent virtual workshop organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in conjunction with the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD, the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has threatened that no candidate will emerge victorious in forthcoming elections in Ondo and Edo State respectively, should there be any twist during the polls.
Speaking during the meeting, the Nigerian electoral empire boss, Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission will not worry itself to announce a winner after the polls if the process is tempered with.
According to Yakubu, the commission has decided to adopt the frank measure in other not to allow for the repetition of occurrence during the Kogi and Bayelsa State polls a few months ago.
He said, “While elections are disrupted, we should look far beyond the electoral commission. I think you put your fingers on the problem, on the political class and the security challenges. And that is why we have been engaging with them,”
“Yesterday, I had a meeting with the national security adviser, we are meeting with all the security agencies. But what pro-active measure is the commission going to take to ensure that if there is a replay of what happened in Bayelsa and Kogi, we will protect the integrity of the process.”
The INEC boss added, “Where the election is disrupted and the commission cannot vouch for the integrity of the process, we will not go ahead to make any declaration. And this we have told the political parties point-blank; you either behave for the elections to be concluded in a free and fair manner or we do what the law says.
“If we can’t vouch for the credibility of the process, there is no point concluding it and making a declaration. That we have committed to. The commission will not endorse fraud and what is clearly outside the minimum standard we have set for the conduct of credible elections anywhere.”
On her part, CDD director, Idayat Hassan said the “COVID-19 pandemic could be the decider of the election especially for the advantage of the political parties,”
She, however, urged the electoral body to ensure full implementation of its policies.
“These elections will be determined by things: INEC itself, the handling of logistics and the full implementation of its beautiful plan,” Idayat noted.
She added, “And two, the citizens. Will they adhere to these principles and what are we doing? This is one role for the international community; they have to support INEC more in terms of crisis management communication, procurement and combating disinformation which will be a serious determinant of these elections.”
In another development, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday revealed that sixteen electoral offenders in seven states are been prosecuted for their activities during the 2019 general election.