INEC wants policemen, journalists to vote during polls

Agency Report

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, says the commission may approach the National Assembly for legislation that will enable its officials on duty and others who work on election days to be able to vote.

Yakubu said journalists and security agents, such as policemen, soldiers and others should be able to cast their ballots during elections, despite being on official duty.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Yakubu spoke on Wednesday in Lagos during a post-election review meeting with media stakeholders.

Yakubu said that the commission may approach the National Assembly to amend the law to accommodate Nigerians that were unable to vote, because of the nature of their jobs.

“For instance, there are many Nigerians that did not have the opportunity to vote on election day simply because our laws say that you can only vote where you are registered.

“So, most of the journalists on the election day worked in places other than where they are registered, so they don’t have the opportunity to vote.

“This doesn’t apply only to journalists, it also applies to officials of INEC itself; the regular and ad hoc officials, including the security agencies.

“So through this kind of interaction, we get recommendations coming from stakeholders and will see in what area we are going to approach the National Assembly to amend the laws,” the INEC chairman said.

Appraising the 2023 general elections, he maintained that the commission had nothing to hide and did no wrong.

Yakubu said there were many positive things that came out of the 2023 elections despite the many challenges.

He admitted that despite the challenges during the last elections, there would be continuous improvement by the commission in the conduct of elections nationwide.

“This is an opportunity for the media executives in their various organisations to tell us what you have seen and how we can continue to improve the electoral process in the future.

“The commission has nothing to hide and it is this type of interaction that we continuously improve on the process for future elections.

“Clearly, there are many positives coming from the general elections and at the same time, we admit that there are many challenges in the last election.

“There are several elections litigations at the various elections tribunals nationwide while we should be careful not to touch on issues that are clearly subjudice,” he added.

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