INEC To Use Kogi, Bayelsa Polls To Test-Run New Policies, Amendments

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the coming governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states would provide it with another chance to test-run its policies, correct slip-ups in the 2019 general elections and set a new standard for future polls.

The chairman of the Board of INEC’s Electoral Institute, Prince Solomon Soyebi, stated this on Tuesday at the end of a two-day seminar on INEC preparedness for the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

Soyebi, who is also INEC national commissioner said, “The election will provide the commission with yet another opportunity to test-run its policies, processes and new initiatives.

“Since the conduct and outcome of the 2019 general election, the commission has done a lot to reorganise and strengthen its processes, procedures and systems for better performance.”

Speaking further he said, “Although the conduct of the 2019 general election and the commission‘s performance had some challenges, we can use the 2019 general election as a barometer for comparison with subsequent elections, including the Bayelsa governorship election. Clearly, the commission is not under any illusion about the many issues and challenges posed by the electoral process.”

Soyebi said that the commission would henceforth ensure that efforts to further strategically reposition the commission and strengthen its capability to deliver successful elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states were made.

He added that the two elections would serve as test-case on lessons learnt from the challenges at the 2019 general elections and improvement for the future.

According to him, the also considered at the seminar, “What are the issues in the governorship elections? What are the critical success factors in the elections? How can the commission engage with critical stakeholders? Are there internal issues in the operations of the commission that are likely to affect the conduct of the election in the state?

“Are there any foreseeable logistic challenges at the polls, or on the issue of security or challenge of the delegation of responsibility to ad-hoc election personnel?”

Stakeholders at the seminar, included an INEC commissioner in Niger State, Professor Sam Egwu, and Professor Sofiri Peterside of the University of Port Harcourt.

The seminar identified vote buying, violence and the manipulation of youths as some of the basic issues that would determine the outcome of the two governorship elections on November 16.

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