The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday said no electoral process is perfect as every democracy is work-in-progress.
He said this in Abuja at the opening of post 2019 General Elections review meeting with 380 Electoral Officers (EOs) from 19 states across the country.
He urged the EOs to offer views and criticisms on the recent general elections, saying no poll is perfect.
“Criticisms on the elections would help to improve the country’s electoral process. Please, feel free to advise the commission.
“Where we need to be criticized or criticize ourselves, please do so. I consistently say that friends will criticize you, but your enemies will condemn you. But criticism is the basis to make any system work.
“No democracy, no electoral process is perfect. Every democracy is work-in-progress. So, feel free to suggest, advice on all issues relating to conduct of elections, on the whole gamut. And, you have the protection of the chairman that whatever you say will not be held against you,” Yakubu said.
He said the preparation for the general elections, movement of staff, opening of Polling Units (PUs), and co-ordination of PUs activities on election days, reverse logistics – all these activities are heavily dependent on the works of EOs.
He said, “Anything that anybody can say about the conduct of elections in Nigeria is secondary to the kind of information we are going to hear from those who truly conduct elections at levels that matter – the polling units.”
Also, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Planning, Monitoring and Strategy Committee, Dr. Mustafa Lecky, said the review was aimed at broadening and evaluating the conduct of the 2019 elections and help to learn vital lessons.
He said the review would also afford the commission an opportunity to review its policies and programmes during the last elections, to serve as a roadmap to 2023 general elections.
On her part, the Programme Coordinator, European Union Support to Democratic Governance (EUSDG) in Nigeria, Maria Mauro, described EOs as one of the most important stakeholders in elections.