Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says that inconclusive elections being recorded in the country, were reflections of competitiveness in elections into public office.
The Chairman said this at the 11th edition of a public lecture of INEC’s Electoral Institute entitled “Between Refuge and Rights: Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Inconclusive Electoral Process in Nigeria”.
According to him, the use of card reader machines for elections has come to stay in spite of the regrettable difficulties experienced during its use.
He assured that the process of declaration of winners of election as contained in the party’s guidelines would never be compromised.
It can be recalled that the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa conducted by INEC under the Leadership of Prof. Yakubu were declared inconclusive at the first ballot.
He said as our elections are getting better and more competitive, citizens are now more confident that their votes really count.
He added that INEC will continue to ensure that the credibility of elections remain sacrosanct and that the act of election thuggery, ballot box snatching and deliberate acts to void the card readers will always attract sanctions.
Yakubu also said that the commission under his watch had conducted four elections, including two state assembly seats, in Plateau and Katsina.
He said that the commission is satisfied with the processes and procedures, but however, admitted that some glitches in the operation and configuration of the smart card readers with particular respect to the biometric authentication of voters were recorded.
The INEC Boss said that the commission is determined to ensure that these challenges are address in future elections, be it at the level of technology or staff training.
He also said suggestions from Nigerians at large are welcome in this regard, bearing in mind that the smart card reader is still a technology in its pioneering stage in our electioneering stage.
In his contribution, former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, commended the progress made by INEC in the conduct of general elections from 2007 to 2015.
Odinkalu said that while in 2007, 86.1 per cent of the elections were decided by the judiciary, in 2011, it reduced to 51 per cent and later 40 per cent in 2015.
He expressed confidence that the INEC Boss would sustain the tempo of success and progress made by his predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega.