An arbitrator, his men and the 2023 elections – The Sun Nigeria
“If our political leaders are always to be many political merchants, they will meet any demand we can create. All we have to do is establish a constant demand for good government.
By Daniel Kanou
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday, November 3, at INEC Headquarters in Abuja, swore in the 19 newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
While 14 of the RECs were new appointments, five were reappointed for a second and final term.
It should be recalled that in July, President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the names of 19 candidates as INEC RECs to the Senate for confirmation.
All the candidates were confirmed by the Senate despite serious allegations of corruption and partisanship made against some of them by Nigerians.
Predictably, during the ceremony, Professor Yakubu again reminded them of the binding ethics of the commission.
He took the opportunity to urge them to be independent and impartial in the exercise of their services.
In particular, he warned them not to visit government houses, in order to maintain their neutrality.
Speaking at the event, Yakubu said that with exactly 113 days to go until the 2023 general election, the task ahead of INEC is not easy, but pledged that the electorate would never disappoint Nigerians.
“Our loyalty is to Nigeria and our allegiance is to Nigerians. Only their votes should determine the winners of the 2023 general election. No more, no less. There should be no deviation from this path of honor and integrity,” Yakubu promised.
The INEC boss also took the opportunity to recall that the commission had worked tirelessly to reform the electoral process, as well as introduced many innovations that are generally credited with improving the electoral process.
Given what is at stake, INEC is expected to live up to its name as an “independent” electoral body and not compromise its obligations.
Indeed, democracy becomes a sham when the electorate that organizes periodic elections shows the slightest hint of bias.
But beyond rhetorical assurances and enticing promises, Nigerians expect INEC to do everything in its power to preserve not only its integrity, but also to support the existing democratic process in the country by organizing smooth and credible elections to the satisfaction of Nigerians. and the international community.
It is undeniable that there are huge expectations and serious concerns that seem to follow the 2023 election.
While there are palpable fears about what INEC might not be able to do, due to its own limitations, there are also apprehensions about the insecurity and uncertainties hanging in the air, which are real and worrying and pose enormous challenges to the smooth running of the elections.
The optimism and glimmer of hope expressed recently by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba on the upcoming general elections in the country, is no doubt reassuring, but given the charged atmosphere that the election is already spawning, Nigerians certainly need double insurance. The police, together with INEC and other stakeholders, must work hard to give vent to this hope.
IGP Alkali said the elections would go off without a hitch. He spoke at the United Nations Chiefs of Police (UNCOPS) Summit held in the United States, where he ensured that the continued training and capacity building of members of police tactical units in the six political zones of the country is an indication that the elections in 2023 would not be marred by terrorist threats, violence or intimidation.
Political observers agree that the commission must urge President Buhari to fulfill his constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property to avert insecurity and thus pave the way for the elections to be held as planned.
As a matter of duress, INEC must demonstrate the spirit of representative democracy by ensuring that power belongs to the people and sovereignty belongs to the Nigerian people and this can only be true if INEC refuses to compromise the democratic norm.
There is also the worrying issue of security vulnerabilities that can be exploited to electronically disrupt the transmission of election results by hackers.
Although the INEC chairman has continued to assure that the portal is safe, security experts warn that if hackers could attack the election results portal for the Ekiti and Osun elections, INEC will not should not underestimate the power of hackers while preparing guarantees for the 2023 elections.
Hackers can destroy a computer network or system, as it has been proven that election sites can be hacked to alter actual election results.
INEC was advised to use unique networks and custom databases with new and updated security protocols to quell hackers. The issue of hackers should be on the INEC’s priority list.
Most Nigerians pin so much hope on the 2023 electoral process to bring about the much-vaunted change in the political direction of the country.
This is because the nation’s political leaders have failed to show that they truly have the interests of the people at heart in their conduct of governance.
Today, Nigerians yearn for a new political order where the culture of work and a helpful public ethic would guarantee hard work, human flourishing and the good life.
The arduous task of the success of the 2023 elections largely rests with the INEC under the leadership of Prof. Yakubu.
Professor Mahmood Yakubu was born in Bauchi in May 1962. He attended Teachers’ College in Toro, Bauchi State.
He undertook his undergraduate studies at the University of Sokoto (now Usmanu Danfodiyo University). He graduated with an honors degree in history in 1985, winning Sokoto’s Waziri award for top graduate student and setting an enduring record as the first student from northern Nigeria to graduate with a first-class degree in history.