The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has said in line with its tradition of adequately preparing for eventualities, it has enough logistics to take care of a possible run-off in next year’s Presidential Election.INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at a meeting with Bureau Chiefs and Regional Editors of media organizations.
Speaking during the meeting INEC national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, Festus Okoye, said the commission was mandated to conduct a re-run election by law.
He said the commission would print concurrently, ballot papers for the presidential election and those for a re-run exercise ahead of the 2023 election in case the situation arises.
The electoral body said the practice had been in existence since 1999 without public knowledge but was disclosed for the first time in line with the open policy of the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.
Okoye explained that the printing of the 93 million ballot papers according to the number of registered voters, each for the main presidential and re-run elections was to save the country’s constitutional crisis as it would be difficult to print the materials within the 21 days granted by the constitution.
“If at the end of the day, there is no run-off, when election petitions are disposed of, the Commission will destroy the 93 million ballots printed for the run-off,” he said.
Okoye also vowed yesterday that the electoral umpire will not shift the 2023 poll for any logistics challenge, adding that there is no going back on the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and NEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) for the elections.
He expressed hope that the courts would have cleared all pre-election matters before the polls.
Okoye said: “We assure all Nigerians that the processes and procedures as well as the preparations for the conduct of the 2023 general election are on course.
“Out of the 14 items in our timetable and schedule of activities, we have implemented nine and we implemented all of them on schedule.
“We are comfortable with the level of our preparations, and as the Chairman of the Commission has assured the nation, never again will scheduled elections be postponed or rescheduled on account of logistics and logistics challenges.”