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Offcycle polls: Corrupt practices by election officials will not be tolerated, says Yakubu

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says unethical and corrupt practices by election officials will not be tolerated in the scheduled off-cycle governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

Yakubu spoke in Abuja on Monday at an annual lecture organised by the INEC Electoral Institute (TEI).

The theme of the lecture was ‘Achieving professionalism among election personnel through effective training in preparation for Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections’.

Yakubu, who was represented by Abdullahi Zuru, chairman of the board of the electoral institute, said the lecture was timely considering that the Edo and Ondo off-cycle governorship elections are around the corner.

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The elections are scheduled for September 21 and November 16, respectively.

He said it is important that INEC officials are knowledgeable, skilled, and well-equipped with relevant competencies to handle the complexities and challenges of the electoral process.

“Moreover, the crucial role election personnel play in upholding the integrity of our democratic processes cannot be overstressed,” he said.

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“The manner in which they discharge their duties and responsibilities affects the degree of confidence voters will have in the electoral process, which will impact their participation and turnout.

“To ensure the credibility and trustworthiness of our elections and build trust among the electorate, it is imperative that we prioritize the professional development of our election personnel.

“Consequently, the commission has always demanded that all election officials be punctual, courteous, polite, and helpful at all times. Voters are the masters and should be treated equally, decently, and with the utmost respect.

“Unethical and corrupt practices by election officials will not be tolerated and shall incur severe punishments under the law.”

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