Success of any election depends on competence of electoral body: Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the success of any election largely depended on the professionalism and competence of those responsible for conducting it.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this while warning its personnel against unethical and corrupt practices in the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections.

He spoke on Monday in Abuja at a lecture in honour of late Abubakar Momoh, former director-general of the Electoral Institute (TEI), from August 2013 to May 2017.

Mr Yakubu, represented by the national commissioner, and chairman, Board of Electoral Institute, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, warned that any unethical practice before, during and after those elections would incur severe punishments under the law.

The theme of the lecture was: “Achieving Professionalism among Election Personnel through Effective Training in Preparation for the Edo and Ondo Governorship Elections.’’

He advised electoral officers to be guided by the following principles of integrity, impartiality, transparency, professionalism, gender and disability sensitive.

He said it was important for electoral personnel to be knowledgeable, skilled and well-equipped with relevant competencies to handle the complexities and challenges of the electoral process.

“Moreover, the crucial role election personnel play in upholding the integrity of our democratic processes cannot be overstressed.

“The manner in which they discharge their duties and responsibilities affects the degree of confidence voters will have in the electoral process, which will impact their participation and turnout,’’ he said.

Mr Yakubu said that to ensure credibility and trustworthiness in elections and build trust among the electorate, INEC had always prioritised the professional development of its election personnel.

He said the commission identified effective and efficient electoral training as the key to unlocking professionalism among election personnel.

“The commission’s involvement in effective training programmes has empowered its staff to uphold the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in order to strengthen our processes and procedures to serve the interests of all Nigerians,’’ he said.

He said that through training, INEC was able to deepen electoral knowledge and strengthen the skills and competencies of personnel over time.

The TEI director-general, Dr Sa’ad Idris, in his remarks, said that INEC, in pursuit of its mission and vision, had prioritised professionalism toward achieving free, credible, transparent and inclusive elections.

“As we prepare for the 2024 Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections, the commission is assured that the outcome of effective training of Election personnel will manifest in a high level of professionalism.


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