By Augustine Akhilomen
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday morning presented all the Senators-elect a Certificate of Return without including outgoing Imo State governor, Rochas Okorochas.
During the presentation ceremony at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu admonished the senator-elect to commence and conclude work on the review of the electoral legal framework early, ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
“There is a lot of work but very little time available. As a process governed by law, the success of election in Nigeria depends to a large extent on the electoral legal framework and most importantly, in ensuring adherence to the law.
“I want to assure you that we will continue to work with the National Assembly to review and strengthen our Electoral Law.
“But I want to appeal to the Senators-elect to please start work early and conclude work on the electoral framework in good time well ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“The tendency to delay electoral reform, particularly the review of the electoral framework, until it is too close to the elections, leaves the commission with little time to develop processes including regulations and guidelines, make required consultation with stakeholders, embark on effective voter education including sensitisation, train staff and organise deployment for the elections.
“I am glad that among the senators-elect are senators that we have worked very closely with and some of them have taken initiative or even sponsoring private member bills to advance the cause of electoral reform,” he said.