INEC Chairman Yakubu says technology critical for free, fair elections

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Photo: INEC Chairman, Prof Yakubu

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the National Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that the use of electronic components is key to the delivering of INEC’s mandate for free and fair elections.

The national electoral umpire boss made this known in his remark while receiving the  Chairperson of the Liberian National Electoral Commission, Davidetta Browne Lansanah (NEC) in Abuja.

Yakubu said, “In Nigeria, we (INEC) are convinced that the use of appropriate technology is one of the best guarantees for the transparency and credibility of the electoral process”.

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“The truth is that nations are increasingly moving away from the manual processes by deploying more technology to further guarantee electoral credibility.

“I wish to commend you for the bold step you have taken in this regard. As requested, we will share our experience with you to enable you make an informed decision for Liberia.

“I am glad to note that you have decided to move away from the manual register by conducting a pilot biometric voter registration in Liberia as early as November this year.

“It is also gratifying that you have chosen to understudy Nigeria’s processes in detail, particularly the choice of biometric technology ahead of your next general election which, like Nigeria, holds in 2023.

“I wish to assure you that we will continue to strengthen the long-standing partnership with Liberia in the spirit of peer support, he added.

“You may recall that twice in the last three years, our technical staff worked with your Commission on the register of voters. The initial assistance facilitated the conclusion of your 2017 general election.

“Again, our staff returned to Liberia for the same reason ahead of the mid-term Senatorial election and constitutional referendum held in December last year. Based on the lessons learnt from both exercises, our technical staff recommended that Liberia should introduce the biometric registration of voters.

“In our interactions over the next two days, we will demonstrate to you and your team the processes for both the online and physical registration, and the equipment used for the exercise.

“We will demonstrate to you the staff requirement and training, the procedure for cleaning up the field data, the compilation and printing of the register for elections and the system of storage and retrieval of information.

“We will also take you to some of the registration centres in Abuja for practical and on-the-spot experience of the exercise”.

Speaking earlier, the Liberian electoral boss, appreciated Yakubu and his management for the gesture extended to her and her team.

“On behalf of my country, Liberia; NEC and my delegation, I thank you most sincerely my brother INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for accepting to host us.

“We came to learn from Nigeria and we believe that this visit will yield us good results. We appreciate everything Nigeria has done for Liberia especially towards perfecting our electoral processes,” Lansana said.

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