Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that elections have become a product of deliberate plan and strategy, stressing that they are no longer matters of guess work.
He stated this in Abuja on Monday when the Commission hosted senior officials of the Independent Electoral Commission of Lesotho, IECL, in Nigeria, on a study tour of the commission.
After commending the visitors “for choosing Nigeria as a model and best practice for what you want to do, particularly with respect to the development of a strategic plan for elections in your Kingdom,” Yakubu said, “Elections are no longer matters of guess work. Election management bodies must prepare for elections as a matter of cause and as a matter of strategy”.
He disclosed that, “The INEC in Nigeria had an election project plan for the last cycle and beyond. And in 2016, this commission came up with second strategic plan in the history of our elections, covering the period from 2016 to 2021.
“So, we are very happy to share our experience with you. I want to assure you that you will interact with all relevant staff responsible for the last strategic plan. We will make available to you all the documents and share experience on the validation processes that led to the conclusion of the strategic plan and strategic programme of action.
“Beyond that, we will also share with you our experience on election project plan developed from strategic plan and strategic programme of action. We will make all these documents available to you as you go back to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
“I will like to tell you that as a result of the plan, we are now able to know when elections will take place in the foreseeable future. We are working on the principles that our elections will hold on third Saturday of February of the election year. Elections are always held in Nigeria on Saturdays.”
In her remarks, the Director of Elections in Lesotho, Dr. Austeria Ntsike, who led the team, revealed that Nigeria was considered because of its diverse experience on elections.
Ntsike expressed the hope that the outcome of the study would be incorporated in her country’s strategic plan.