Notwithstanding the tensed mood of the nation, especially the overwhelming security challenges and uncertainties, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in line with its statutory mandate, has announced the date for the 2023 general elections in the country.
The INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the announcement on Wednesday during a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021, organised by the Senate Committee on INEC. According to Yakubu, the 2023 general elections will hold on Saturday, February 18, 2023.
“By the principle established by the Commission, the 2023 General Elections will hold on Saturday, 18th February, 2023, which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days from today,” he said.
“We hope to release the timetable and schedule of activities for the general elections immediately after the Anambra Governorship election scheduled to hold on 6th November, 2021.
“In order to do so, there should be clarity and certainty about the electoral legal framework to govern the election. We are confident that the National Assembly will do the needful in earnest.”
Yakubu described the delay in the prosecution of electoral offenders as one of the most challenging tasks for the commission.
He said, “For instance, since the 2015 general elections, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom State.
“The commission would like to see more successful prosecution of offenders, not just of ballot box snatchers and falsifiers of election results but most importantly their sponsors.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including party chieftains and candidates that seek to benefit from violations of the law, are apprehended. We believe that the work of the proposed Commission will help in this regard.”