Inconclusive elections, a reflection of competitive polls, says INEC boss

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Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, on Tuesday in Abuja said that inconclusive elections being recorded were reflections of competitiveness of the polls.
Yakubu said this at the 11th edition of a public lecture of INEC’s Electoral Institute entitled “Between Refuge and Rights: Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Inconclusive Electoral Process in Nigeria”.
He said that elections in the country were getting better with the development.
According to him, the use of card reader machines for elections has come to stay in spite of the regrettable difficulties experienced during its use.
He assured that the process of declaration of winners of election as contained in the party’s guidelines would never be compromised.
The governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa conducted by INEC under Yakubu were declared inconclusive at the first ballot.
“The truth is that our elections are getting better, they are also becoming competitive.
“By the same token, citizens are now more confident that the votes really count.
“INEC will continue to ensure that the credibility of our elections remain sacrosanct.
“Acts of thuggery, ballot box snatching, wilful violation of guidelines and deliberate acts to void the card readers will always attract sanctions,’’ he said.
Yakubu also said that the commission under his watch had conducted four elections, including two state assembly seats, in Plateau and Katsina.
“We are satisfied with the processes and procedures and we had no major problem with deployment of logistics and personnel for the elections.
“However, I must admit that we have recorded some glitches in the operation and configuration of the smart card readers with particular respect to the biometric authentication of voters.
“Although the reported cases are not substantial enough to mar the elections, we are, however, determined to ensure that we address these challenges in future elections, be it at the level of technology or staff training.
“We welcome suggestions from Nigerians at large in this regard, bearing in mind that the smart card reader is still a technology in its pioneering stage in our electioneering stage.
‘’But, the device has already revolutionized our electoral process,’’ Yakubu said.
In his contribution, former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, commended the progress made by INEC in the conduct of general elections from 2007 to 2015.
Odinkalu said that while in 2007, 86.1 per cent of the elections were decided by the judiciary, in 2011, it reduced to 51 per cent and later 40 per cent in 2015.
He expressed confidence that INEC under Yakubu would sustain the success and progress made by his predecessor, Prof. Attahiru Jega.

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