The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says officials responsible for the infractions in the presidential election will not be involved in the gubernatorial polls.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairperson, said this on Saturday at a meeting with resident electoral commissioners (RECs) in Abuja.
Yakubu said it was imperative for the commission to review performances from last week’s election and assess preparation for the forthcoming polls, the Cable News reports.
He said although a lot of preparation had gone into the presidential poll, a number of issues ranging from technology, delay by election officials, and attitudes of political parties’ agents jeopardised the outcome.
Yakubu also asked RECs to immediately initiate disciplinary action where evidence of wrongdoing has been established.
“No doubt, last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions. The planning for the election was painstakingly done. However, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen,” he said.
“The issues of logistics, election technology, behaviour of some election personnel at different levels, attitude of some party agents and supporters added to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.
“We appreciate the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election. A lot of lessons have been learnt.
“Of immediate concern to the commission is how the identified challenges can be addressed as we approach the concluding phase of the general election involving the largest number of constituencies i.e. 28 state governorship elections and 993 state houses of assembly seats.
“As we approach the governorship and state assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians. All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.”
The Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have challenged the credibility of the presidential poll results.
The parties said the elections were a sham and demanded that a fresh exercise be undertaken.
Reacting to the accusations, the INEC chairperson assured aggrieved presidential candidates that proven irregularities in the election will be addressed.
He said RECs will account for the failure to deploy logistics in the commission’s facilities across the country.
“RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. The commission has enough facilities in all the states of the federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable,” Yakubu said.
“Arising from last week’s election, the commission has received reports from our state offices well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates. Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress.”