The Independent National Electoral Commission has finally admitted that there were hitches in the controversial presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on February 25.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the confession on Saturday, at the meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners in Abuja after a spell of unsual silence, despite widespread condemnation of INEC’s performance in that election.
Yakubu told the RECs that it was important for the commission to review performances from last Saturday’s election.
He claimed that the elections were painstakingly done but it came with issues ranging from technology, delay by election officials, attitudes of political parties’ agents among others.
The INEC Chairman added that a lot of lessons have been learnt from the presidential elections ahead of the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Yakubu said, “As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.
“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections.
“RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.”
Last Saturday’s elections had been slammed by both participants, voters and observers as being fundamentally flawed and marred by voter suppression, intimidation and manipulation by INEC officials.