The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Yakubu Mahmoud, has assured Nigerians that the Commission will conduct the Anambra State governorship election in 2021 despite the spate of arson and vandalisation of its facilities and properties.
Mahmoud disclosed that since 2019 42 INEC offices had been burnt and vandalised.
This was said on Monday by a National Commissioner of the commission who represented Mahmoud, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, at the opening of the National Retreat On The Validation Of The Draft INEC 2022-2026 Strategic Plan (SP) And Strategic Programme Of Action (SPA) held at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Mahmoud stated that the commission was engaging relevant stakeholders to change the narratives, adding that INEC was committed to the discharge of its statutory responsibilities of improving and sustaining democracy in the country.
He added that in order to develop a system to institutionalise continuous improvement at all levels towards it mandate, the commission had since 2012 adopted the use of strategic planning to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.
“To further strengthen the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections, the Commission is preparing the 3rd Strategic Plan and Strategic Programme of Action 2022 to 2026.
“These drafts, Strategic Plan and Strategic Programme of Action were developed following a comprehensive review of the INEC 2017-2021 SP&SPA, and have been reviewed both at States and Zonal levels. Therefore, these documents are blueprints designed to help the Commission develop a pragmatic roadmap that will serve as a practical guide for its work in the next 5years,” said Mahmoud.
In his speech, the Project Coordinator, European Centre For Electoral Support (ECES), Hamza Fassi-Fihri, said that the retreat took place at a period the Commission was busy engaging with several other important aspects of the electoral process, adding that the electoral environment would depend on the review of the electoral legal framework and of the constitution review process.
Fassi-Fihri added that the Strategic Plan would provide a global vision of the Commission’s principles of action and detailing key resources that would be necessary towards the delivery of successful, credible and inclusive elections for all Nigerians.