The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday held a post-election review meeting with collation and returning officers.
The meeting was held at the Ladi Kwali Hall of the Abuja Continental Hotel and was attended by national commissioners, collation and returning officers, and other senior officials of the commission.
This review meeting comes three weeks after the European Union Observation Mission released its report.
The Chief EU Observer to the 2023 General Election Barry Andrews noted that “the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signal a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability”.
The EU report has sharply divided opinion.
But in his opening remarks, INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu thanked the collation and returning officers for their commitment and dedication to duty during the 2023 general election. He also acknowledged the challenges that they faced, such as the tedious and manual process of completing designated forms.
Prof. Yakubu then called on the collation and returning officers to share their experiences from the election so that the commission could identify areas of strength and weakness and make necessary reforms.
He specifically asked for their perspectives on the following:
- The processes and procedures for recruiting, training, and posting collation and returning officers
- Logistics for movement to and from places of assignment
- The integrity of the collation and declaration procedure
- The role of technology in result management
- Security of collation/returning officers and the collation centres
- Conduct of party agents and election observers during collation
- Conduct of security personnel
- Any other lessons that would improve the future collation and declaration of results
The INEC boss said that the commission would prepare a comprehensive report based on the feedback from the review meetings.
He urged the collation and returning officers to be candid in their discussions and to share their field experiences.