Thugs deployed by politicians, other factors made 2023 elections difficult – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that thugs deployed by politicians and other factors made the 2023 general elections difficult.

INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Monday when the Commission met with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in continuation of its review of the elections conducted in Nigeria.

Yakubu said in the meeting which took place at the Commission’s conference room, Abuja that the public is aware there were many challenges encountered before and during the elections.

He stated that the severe cash and fuel situations were compounded by the perennial insecurity nationwide.

“Their impact on our deployment plans, compounded by the behaviour of some of our own officials in the field, made logistics management particularly challenging.

“The deployment of thugs by some political actors made election day administration difficult in a number of places,” the INEC boss said.

Yakubu said that unlike previous regular engagements, Monday’s meeting was intended to focus more on this year’s polls by way of introspection, stocktaking, review and evaluation.

The INEC chairman added that he believes it is one of the best ways to continue to improve the electoral process.

“Since the 2019 General Election, we have worked together with the National Assembly, civil society organisations and other stakeholders for the improvement of the electoral process.

“We were meticulous in our preparations for the election and there have been many positive developments in this regard. One area is the repeal and re-enactment of the Electoral Act 2010 into the Electoral Act 2022.

“The new law provides a period of 180 days for political parties to conclude their primaries and submit the names of candidates and the political parties took advantage of it for the 2023 General Election,” Yakubu said.

According to him, this enabled INEC to commence the process of producing the sensitive materials for the election in good time.

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