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INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu Explains Silence on 2023 General Election Outcomes

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has offered an explanation for its silence regarding the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the explanation during a meeting with the Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, in Abuja on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.

The meeting was a part of the formal review process of the 2023 general elections.

Yakubu commented that after the conclusion of the elections, it is time for introspection, stocktaking, review, and evaluation.

He acknowledged that there have been diverse opinions expressed by various stakeholders, including political parties, candidates, observers, analysts, and the general public regarding the elections held in February and March.

The INEC Chairman said, “Such diverse opinions should normally be expected, and the commission welcomes all of them insofar as their purpose is to improve the future conduct of elections and to consolidate our democracy.”

He went on to elucidate the reasons why the commission has not engaged in public discussions or commentaries following the elections.

“First, our preference is to listen more and draw lessons rather than join in the heated and often emotive public discussion on the election. Second, since we plan to conduct our own review of the election, we see no need to pre-empt the process. Third, the commission would not want to be seen as defensive or justificatory in joining the ongoing discussions,” Yakubu explained.

Another significant reason for the commission’s reticence is the sub-judice nature of several issues surrounding the election.

The INEC chairman emphasized that the commission does not intend to influence or undermine any ongoing legal proceedings related to the elections.

He noted, “Practically anything coming from the commission could be cited by litigants as either justifying their claims or an indication of bias against them.”

The INEC’s decision to maintain silence appears to be a cautious approach to ensure impartiality and allow for an internal review process without adding to the heated public discourse surrounding the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

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