By Luminous Jannamike

AS the 2023 general election inches closer, former Akwa Ibom State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Mike Igini, said weekend that power has been restored to the electorate to determine their leaders.

According to him, the introduction of electronic technology, particularly the Biometric Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, makes manipulation of election results almost impossible.

Igini, who spoke at the 27th Anti-Corruption Situation Room, ACSR, organised by HEDA Resource Centre, with the theme: ‘Towards Nigeria’s 2023 General Elections’ in Abuja, tasked Nigerians with political participation.

 He said, “The political elite and a disregard for the rule of law are the major issues the nation is facing today.

“However, power has been returned to the Nigerian electorate, following the introduction of electronic technology, such as the Biometric Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, making manipulation of election results almost impossible,” he said.

Igini explained that democracy would not be complete without the rule of law; adding that the best way to fight the ills of democracy was through more democracy.

“Therefore, I urge the electorate to keep vigil over their votes during the 2023 general elections and ensure compliance with the electoral law. Nigerians pay attention to the 2023 general elections as harmony of interest reduces opportunistic behaviours,” he added.

Speaking also, the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, HEDA, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, explained that fixing Nigeria’s electoral challenges would address the country’s development problems.

Meanwhile, a communique issued at the end of the event stressed the need for stakeholders to ensure the integrity of 2023 elections.

it read:  “Participation of the electorate should be made a priority and the security of the voters before, during and after election should be prioritized by the federal and state governments, in collaboration with security agencies.

“Relevant stakeholders should monitor the judicial system in ensuring that they abide by the rule of law and are not being used by politicians to undermine the electoral process.

“The political finance legal framework beyond the INEC Act should be looked into as loopholes in the political financing during elections encourage corruption, vote trading and bribery. “


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