By Gbenga Davies 

As the 2023 General Elections gathers momentum, the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has organized a retreat and induction for the Old and new National Commissioners in Lagos today, Monday 28th March to March 30, 2022.

The retreat which is targeted at Familiarising the Old and New Commissioners with the Commission’s mandate and Sensitizing them on the framework of the Commission. 

The retreat had in attendance the former electoral commissioner in Ghana Kwadwo Afari Gyan, who was in the saddle as Ghana Electoral Empire for Six Terms; Former INEC Chairman; Prof Atahiru Jega,representatives of International Foundation for Electoral Systems, IFES and the national Commissioners.

Yakubu in his remark reassured Nigerians of the commission's commitment to credible polls in 2023 that is free and fair, and in tandem with international standards.

Speaking further, he said the retreat is important especially coming shortly after the timetable was released and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election in which party primaries are scheduled to commence next week and end in the first week in June 2022.

He noted that the commission has identified the challenges associated with Bimodal voter accreditation system (Bvas) during voter accreditation. 

The Lagos State resident electoral commissioner, Olusegun Agbaje, in his welcome address said the retreat is to prepare the commission's and its topmost hierarchy for regular delivery of free,fair,credible and inclusive elections.

He said the retreat will definitely be brain tasking but as they ruminate over the laws,logistics, ethics,security, technology,and allied matters that shape the electoral process.

He also congratulated the New National Commissioners on their appointment and pray for a very successful tenure for them.

The representative of the international foundation for electoral system (IFES), Nigeria Country Director, Seray Jah said the retreat is particularly strategic given the recent assent of the electoral act 2022 and the forthcoming 2023 General election in Nigeria which remains a strong basis to deliver a credible election in 2023 elections.

The Chief Technical Adviser to INEC Chairman,  Bolade Eyinla, speaking on the objectives of the retreat said is organised to familiarize the National Commissioner with the unique mandate of the commission,and its designed to promote understanding of the structure and roles and activities of various department and directorate of the commission.

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