The national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner
(INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, said politicians who praise INEC when elections
favour them turn around to cast aspersion on the commission when things
do not go their way.

It was reported that while speaking at a
meeting with editors in Lagos on Monday, July 8, Yakubu said INEC would
keep on playing its role as an umpire.

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Igbere TV gathered
that he said the commission chose to engage journalists in order to have
their input on the steps that INEC needs to take to strengthen the
electoral process.

He said the INEC would continue to do its
best but its concern is where the trust is reduced by people who will
say the best thing that ever happened to Nigeria since 1914 is INEC when
they win an election but when they don’t win, they say it’s the worst
thing that happened since Lord Lugard.

He said: “There is a
story I love to tell. I am just in love with this story. There was a
time that we conducted a gubernatorial election, I won’t tell you the
state. I monitored it from Abuja via live television. One of the
candidates lamented after casting his vote. The smart card reader
couldn’t pick his biometric immediately.

“He tried the second
time, he tried the third time, it won’t work. He was eventually
accredited and he voted. He came with his wife; his wife had no problem
whatsoever but immediately after voting, he turned to the cameramen and
started abusing INEC. He said this INEC will crash our democracy, he
complained about the card readers not working.

He said the
candidate alleged that INEC was creating an impression that Nigeria is a
nation of scammers, adding that the commission never responded and
continued with the job.

“We concluded the election and
perhaps to his surprise, he was declared winner. So when the certificate
of return was presented to him, I watched the live coverage on
television again.

“Immediately he collected the certificate
and grabbed the microphone, one of the first things he said was that the
best thing that ever happened to our election is the card reader. So,
when someone wins an election, our election management board is the
best. When someone loses an election, our election management board is
the worst thing that ever happened to the country,” he said.

Yakubu said INEC needed the support of stakeholders, especially the media to succeed.

He said some of the recommendations made by foreign and local observers could not be implemented by the commission alone.

“Many
national and international observer have made recommendations but some
of these recommendations cannot be implemented by INEC alone. They
require collaboration with others and in many cases, amendment to
electoral legal framework which is actually beyond INEC itself, it has
to go the national assembly.

“Let me give you an example, the
EU made 30 recommendations to improve the electoral processes in
Nigeria. Out of which only nine can be implemented by INEC by
administrative action. The Commonwealth made 24 recommendations out of
which only eight can be implemented by INEC by administrative action,”
he added.

Igbere TV had previously reported that Yakubu said
he would speak very soon on the server controversy trailing the conduct
and outcome of the 2019 general elections.

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