Ahead of next weekend’s conduct of governorship and State Assemblies elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) has assured Nigerians that it was determined to overcome logistic challenges experienced in last weekend’s Presidential and National Assembly exercise.

Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, gave the pledge on Saturday at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners at his Commission headquarter in Abuja.

The coming elections will hold in 28 states and 993 State Houses of Assembly seats.

Addressing his RECs, Professor Yakubu, who listed logistics challenges, technology behaviour, unpredictable personnel and ad-hoc staff as threats to the electoral process, urged the RECs to work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election.

He specifically instructed the RECs to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. He said: “Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians. All staff found to be negligent, whether 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.

“Election Day logistics must be finalised days before the election and handled by the Electoral Officers (EOs) at Local Government level. This has been our standard practice. Centralising the process as was done in some States resulted in delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls. RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. The Commission has enough facilities in all the States of the Federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable.” The Commission Chairman at the session gave dates for issuing Certificates of Return to elected Senators and members of the House of Representatives.

While Senators will get their Certificates on March 11, their counterparts in the Green Chambers will equally be presented with their Certificates on March 8.

“Certificates of Return will be presented to Senators-elect on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 11.00am at the National Collation Centre (the International Conference Centre), Abuja, while Members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive theirs the following day, Wednesday 8th March 2023, at 11.00am at the same venue. However, for effective crowd management, each Senator/Member-elect should be accompanied by a maximum of two guests. The comprehensive list of all members-elect will be uploaded to the Commission’s website shortly.”

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