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INEC Unveils Revised Regulations, Guidelines for Conducting Elections

L-R: National Commissioners, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, National Commissioners Major-General A.Alkali, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, Dr Baba Bila and Mr. Kenneth Ukaegbu, at the unveiling of the revised INEC Regulations and Guidelines (2022) in Abuja on 3rd June.

By Nathaniel Gana

4th June 2022

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has unveiled the revised Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections (2022), which would, in addition to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2022, form the electoral legal framework.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who launched the document at the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting held in Abuja on Friday 3rd June, said the promulgation of the new Electoral Act 2022 had made it necessary for the Commission to review its Regulations and Guidelines.

Prof. Yakubu affirmed that with the release of the document and earlier publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022 – 2026 and the Election Project Plan 2023, “the Commission has virtually concluded the planning processes for the 2023 General Election, nine months ahead of the elections.”

He added: “In the next couple of weeks, the Training Manual will also be presented to Nigerians. Going forward, the Commission will focus on election administration: logistics, training, voter education, technology, sensitization against vote buying, inclusivity measures and, above all, security.”

On the Ekiti Governorship election scheduled for 18th June, Prof. Yakubu said that all the required major activities have been successfully undertaken. The INEC Chairman had, earlier this week, led a team of INEC Commissioners to Ekiti to assess the Commission’s preparations for the election. They visited the Commission’s offices in several local government areas, held meetings with staff members and security agencies. The team also had an audience with the Ekiti Council of Obas, to solicit their support for peaceful elections.

His words: “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.”

On the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) which began a year ago with the introduction of the first ever online pre-registration as well as physical registration at designated centres, Prof. Yakubu observed that long queues had started building up, especially in the South East, Lagos, Knao and the Federal Capital Territory as the 30th June deadline approaches.

He said the Commission, in anticipation of the last-minute surge, had established additional centres and deployed more machines. 

“Unfortunately, the security situation in many parts of the country has not allowed full deployment as planned,” he noted.  “In some States of the Federation, INEC registration officers were attacked resulting not only in the unfortunate destruction of buildings, loss of equipment but even worse, the death of a staff. This has forced the closure of some of the registration centres.”

He added: However, in view of the surge, additional machines will be deployed to some of the most congested areas to ease it. Similarly, the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have been directed to liaise with the security agencies and stakeholders on the possibility of reopening some of the centres earlier closed because of insecurity. But in doing so, they must always bear in mind the safety of registrants and registration officials. Furthermore, the RECs are directed to do more to provide information, increase awareness of the processes and more promptly respond to genuine complains by citizens.”

On his part, the Co-Chairman of ICCES and National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), urged security agencies to brace up and be fully prepared as political parties round up their primaries and move into campaigns. He observed that there will be a lot of work for the security agencies in ensuring that the electoral space is secured. 

Represented by Sanusi Galadima, the NSA commended the cooperation among the security agencies spearheaded by the Police. He urged them to keep up the spirit and expressed confidence that if the level of cooperation witnessed in recent elections was maintained, the Ekiti governorship election would be conducted in a secure, peaceful, free, and fair environment. 

General Monguno also assured members of the security community of the Federal Government’s commitment and support with all logistics required to execute their electoral duties.