• Saturday, July 13, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

2023: We have murdered, buried rigging in Nigeria – INEC

INEC presents certificates to Saturday’s by-election winners

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said with the enactment of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the introduction of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS), it has completely murdered and buried rigging ahead of the 2023 general election.

Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, said this at a breakfast seminar on the theme; ‘2023 and beyond: Politics and Citizens’ Engagement’, organised by Christian Men’s Fellowship (CMF) St. James’ Anglican Church, Asokoro in Abuja on Saturday.

Represented by Chukwuemeke Ugboaja, deputy director voter education, the chairman expressed hope that the 2023 general election would not be characterised by corrupt practices but be free, fair and credible.

He said: “With the Electoral Act 2022, we have murdered rigging of elections in this country, and we have buried it. I want to tell you with all ears of authority, that that was the greatest thing that has happened to this country.

“There is no way anybody can vote two times in this country again. It is not possible. The machine is there, you bring your voter’s card, they match it to the machine because your name and particulars have been configured into that machine. The card is placed side by side with the machine; your particulars would come up and if your particular did not come up, it means you don’t belong to that particular unit.

“Now suppose it comes up and your fingerprints did not show up, your facial did not come up which means it strayed into that machine, you will not vote and as you put your finger prints and it marks good and the machine records you. If your finger print fails, they will take your photographs and the moment the machine is placed before you, it records that you are the authentic owner of the card and you’re given a ballot to vote.”

Read also: Ohuabunwa heads Abia PDP Campaign Advisory Council

In a key note address, Sam Amadi, the director, Abuja School of social political thoughts said the major roles of Christians in any country is centered on leadership; to enforce divine order; to fight for justice and defend the oppressed.

Amadi urged Christians across the country not to shy away from politics, saying leaving elections for all comers may negatively affect the Christian faith.

Also speaking, Samuel Eziokwu, the head, Centre for Good Governance and Political Development (CGGPD), Africa Kingdom Business Forum (AKBF) Institute, Abuja, said to ensure transparency, Church and all stake holders should demand independent assessment of INEC technology by highly reputable independent information technology experts and auditors to qualify what the commission is doing to restore confidence of voters as it is done in advanced democracies.

“The voter’s registration register should be interrogated by stakeholders when the register is displayed. There is allegation that strange names like foreign names appear in the INEC register. Stakeholders should get to the root of it. Church and all stakeholders should express through strong media presence intolerance of intimidation of voters by security agents and calling for special training for them,” he said

Godknows Boladei Igali, the pro-chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, University of Technology, Akure who chaired the session, urged Nigerians to vote for candidates with competence who would deliver quality leadership.

He said: “I raised an issue, they put the place of manifesto, the place of ideas or thoughts. Nigerian citizens should pick candidates that have positive ideas going forward. Let us look for candidates that have ideas, ideas and what are their track records? This idea of people being swayed by money then mind you, you will have eight years to regret.”

Earlier, Emma Ohakim, the president of CMF, said the 2023 general election would be a critical moment when Nigerian must decide their fate and rightly too.

Ohakim said: “The year 2023 is a very critical year in the life of Nigeria as a country. Is either we get it right or we live in regrets thereafter. And to get it right all hands must be on deck. So we see this seminar as our humble contribution towards the emergence of the right leadership in Nigeria come 2023.”