Section 15, part 1 of the third Scheduled of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 2 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended state that the primary duties of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) primary include to register political parties and eligible voters, organise elections into various political offices and conduct free and fair elections in Nigeria.
Free and fair election is an election that is free from any form of irregularity or fraud. It is also a political freedom, to register eligible voters, fair count of votes casts and announcing acceptable results of all parties.
According to INEC, 73 per cent of Nigeria’s over 200 million population have been registered for the forthcoming elections and ready to vote for the candidates or parties of their choice without fear or favour, threaten or intimidation.
Already INEC has promised that it will replicate the successes recorded in the recent off-cycle governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states, which were conducted electronically, in the 2023 general elections. This can be guaranteed, given the equity and excellence being part of INEC’s core values to deliver quality, efficient and effective elections, as it is guided by its best standard and practice.
Therefore, INEC has absolute power when it comes to election decision making in Nigeria. So, the electoral umpire needs to strictly adhere to their code of conduct and their primary responsibility to ensure that they deliver the expected results in order to have a prosperous and egalitarian Nigeria.
My call to the INEC here is, to stand firm and conduct a free, fair and credible election in the country so as to move Nigeria forward. Credible elections will bring peace and development to our country.
Department of Mass Communication,
Borno State University.