By G9ija

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has again reiterated the commission’s determination to reform the country’s electoral process.

Yakubu who spoke on Friday in Abuja said steps are already ongoing ahead of the 2023 polls.

Besides, INEC boss said various recommendations including that of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform.

Yakubu who spoke at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena noted that a report will be submitted to the newly inaugurated Ninth National Assembly at the end of its review of last general elections.

He said, “Every election in any democracy around the world is work in progress. We, therefore, look forward to the full EU EOM report and recommendations on the elections. We are confident that there will be useful lessons for the Commission as we prepare for future elections.

Indeed, the report is coming at the right time as it will feed into our ongoing review of the conduct of the elections.

Let me assure you that the Commission will again quickly focus attention on the electoral legal framework in addition to several other areas of reform. We will study in detail all your recommendations as part of our ongoing internal review of the 2019 general elections which we hope to conclude in the next two months.

Immediately thereafter, we shall engage with the leadership of the 9th National Assembly on areas that require legislation while implementing aspects of the reform within the powers of the Commission in full consultation with stakeholders. There is so much work to do but little time ahead of us.

The EU has been part of Nigeria’s steady progress towards democratic consolidation since 1999. The observations and recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission to the 2015 general elections were particularly useful not only in the design of some important proposals for reforming the electoral legal framework, but also in improving our electoral processes and procedures.

One of the key recommendations was that we merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, which was subsequently implemented during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 and in all subsequent elections.

The implementation of some of the other recommendations went a long way in enhancing our organisational and operational planning and strengthening our engagement with stakeholders.

The EU observation mission is expected to officially release the report and recommendations arising from the 2019 general elections on Saturday in Abuja.