Ahead of the 2023 general election, the national electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lined up not less than 1,508 activities that will culminate in the conduct of the next general election.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu gave this indication on Thursday at the handing over ceremony heralding him into office for a second term, held at INEC headquarters, Abuja.
In the past 31 days, Air Vice Marshall Ahmed Muhammed Muazu (rtd) has been acting in his stead pending his screening and confirmation by the Senate and eventual swearing in by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
He said preparations for 2023 general elections have proceeded in earnest, stressing that INEC need certainty and the electoral legal framework which is fundamental to formulation of regulations and guidelines.
Prof. Yakubu said the continuous voters’ registration will resume early next year and will run till six months to the 2023 polls.
Acknowledging that an acceptable election must be based on a credibly compiled voters register, the chairman said INEC will first do a cleanup of the existing voters register to produce new one adding that the Commission will deploy new technology in compiling the new register.
The chairman said the top priority of the commission is for the nation to have a brand-new electoral law to be produced from the parliamentary process of amending the Electoral Act 2010 which started on Wednesday with a public hearing at the National Assembly.
He, therefore, commended the Ahmad Lawan led 9th National Assembly for its resolve to ensure that the bill to amend all extant electoral laws are passed in the first quarter of 2021.
Yakubu also appreciated the acting chairman, the five national commissioners, top management staff and stakeholders concerned in electoral matters for the successful conduct of the December 5 bye – elections in 15 constituencies across 11 states of the federation.
He said this attest to the fact that the commission under his leadership has built institutional capacities that enables every staff to discharge responsibilities at all times.
In his handing over short address, AVM Muazu(rtd) commended all stakeholders, member staff and ad – hoc staff for the success recorded in the conduct of last Saturday’s bye – election.
He said though the last 31 days has been the longest month in his life, he was able to act successfully because of the leadership foundation laid by Prof. Yakubu.
Yakubu’s appointment was confirmed on Tuesday by the Senate and he took a fresh oath of office on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, during the 27th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
He was sworn in on November 9, 2015, for his first term in office as INEC chairman.