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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

The Era of Ballot Stuffing, Snatching Is Gone, INEC Assures Nigerians

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna

As the 2023 election draws closer, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that there won’t be ballot stuffing and snatching by criminal elements as was the case in most areas in previous elections in the country.

The Administrative Secretary of INEC in Kaduna state, Alhaji Muhammed Mashi disclosed that the electoral reform has rendered impossible the cases of ballot stuffing and snatching.

Alhaji Mashi who spoke on Wednesday when members of a non-governmental organization under the auspices of Integrity Group for Better Nigeria (IGBN) paid him a courtesy call, said Nigerians will be surprised and happy about smooth conduct and outcome of the forthcoming general elections.

The INEC Scribe used the occasion to inform that the INEC State office has received both sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the next year elections.

He also announced that those who did fresh registration and transfer of polling booths registration should go for the collection of their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) as they are ready.

“With the new electoral reform, Nigerians will be surprised and happy to see what will happen in the 2023 election because it will be smooth and transparent, free and fair.

“Issue of ballot stuffing and snatching will not happen, and no voter can vote twice. The election will be smooth that if Mr. A wins the election, Mr. B will not hesitate to congratulate Mr. A, and vice versa.

“People who did multiple registration will be taken to court because it is a criminal offence. Whoever perpetrated the offence will face the wrath of the law.

“We have started receiving both sensitive and insensitive materials for the 2023 elections. We are improving day by day.

“Those who did fresh registration and transfer of polling booths in July can go and collect their PVCs because they are ready,” Alhaji Mashi said.

He told the group that INEC is very transparent in whatever it does toward the conduct of the forthcoming elections, adding that, “this is the type of association we want to partner with, and our door is open to everyone.”

Earlier, the Convener of IGBN, Chief Patrick Lawson told the Secretary that the group was impressed by the way INEC conducted Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections, and urged the Commission to maintain the tempo as well as improve on it.

“We are a nongovernmental organisation group that is passionate about political development and progress of our dear country. We are in partnership with other organisations to ensure that religion and ethnicity should not be barriers to the nation’s unity.

“We are saying that we should rather look for a person that has the capacity to lead the country. So we want to partner with INEC to ensure transparency in the elections.

“So far INEC is doing well and it should continue to do well. And we are pleased INEC over the issue of PVCs as only those who registered can get the PVCs.

“We are happy that in recent times INEC has done so well, especially in the conduct of governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. We are indeed impressed,” Chief Lawson said.

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