The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu is the government agency charged with conducting free and fair elections in Nigeria.
However, despite the huge resources of N355 billion (almost $1 billion dollars) allocated to it, INEC botched the 2023 elections in Nigeria. The elections were characterized by widespread violence, electoral fraud, rigging, irregularities and incompetence on the part of INEC leading to confusion and chaos during the voting process and vote counting despite repeated assurances to the contrary.
INEC’s failure to provide a level playing field for all political parties and candidates was a significant factor in the election’s outcome. There were instances of malfunctioning card readers, missing ballot papers, and irregularities in the collation and announcement of results. The commission’s inability to address these issues in a timely and transparent manner undermined the credibility of the elections.
Moreover, INEC was complicit in the hijacking of the electoral process by non-state actors, who used violence and intimidation to suppress voter turnout and rig the elections. Reports from international observers noted that the elections fell “well short of Nigerian citizens’ legitimate and reasonable expectations.”
It is unacceptable that a commission that is funded with taxpayers’ money and charged with the critical task of conducting free and fair elections could fail so miserably. The citizens of Nigeria deserve better, and INEC must be held accountable for their gross incompetence and failure to deliver on their mandate.
We, as a coalition of concerned civil society organizations, demand that INEC be reformed and made more transparent and accountable to the people of Nigeria. The commission must be held accountable for its actions and inactions during the 2023 elections, and those responsible for any wrongdoing must be brought to justice
· Testimonies from eyewitnesses and victims of voting irregularities
· Detailed information on the low voter turnout and the factors that contributed to it, including violence and intimidation
· Testimonies from eyewitnesses and victims of voter disenfranchisement.