Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu

Valid votes cast by Nigerians for politicians and not incumbency factor will continue to determine who wins election in Nigeria, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, has declared.

Yakubu, who made the claim while addressing the ongoing 67th Session of the International Press Institute in Abuja, Nigeria, said that gone were the days when politicians harped on incumbency factor as the basis for winning elections in Nigeria.

“Most remarkably, elections are won and lost irrespective of incumbency at state level. I want to assure this Congress that the will of the Nigerian voter will continue to prevail. Nothing but the votes cast by citizens will determine the outcome of elections,” Yakubu said.

The chairman said that the commission had taken appropriate steps to ensure that the 2019 election will be very credible although the balloting would not be done electronically.

Mahmood said, “Turning to the use of technology in elections, we shall continue to deepen its deployment until such a time when we can fully automate the entire process. There will be no electronic balloting in 2019 but technology is already being used in many aspects of the processes.

“Electronic voting should be the ultimate step in a chain involving five processes: electronic voter register, accreditation, balloting, collation and transmission of result. At present, the Commission has a more robust voter register than at any time in our history. Accreditation of voters (and storage of accreditation data) is also electronic while we are piloting the electronic collation and transmission of results.

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