INEC is prepared for presidential run-off if necessary, says Mahmood Yakubu


Mahmood Yakubu, the chairperson of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says the commission is prepared to carry out a run-off presidential election if necessary.


Yakubu said this on Tuesday while speaking at the Chatham House in the United Kingdom.


According to section 134 of the constitution, the winner must secure the highest number of votes cast; and not less than a quarter of the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the states and the federal capital territory (FCT).


If no candidate secures this threshold, INEC must conduct a run-off election.


Yakubu said with every general election, INEC prepares for a run-off, adding that it has done so in the last three electoral cycles.


“We prepare for that possibility because until the constitution was amended, there was only one week for presidential run-off in case it happens. With the number of voters we have, it is almost impossible to print the ballot papers and result sheets required, deliver them to the locations, and conduct the elections as required,” he said.


“So with every election in the last three electoral cycles, we also make provision for the possibility of a presidential run-off, in case it happens. If it happens, we’ll have no issues and this year is no exception.


 “Fortunately, the timeframe has also been extended. The fourth alteration to the constitution has extended it by two more weeks so it’s now three weeks.”


Yakubu also dismissed claims that local government workers may be used as returning and collation officers instead of senior academics.


“The procedure is very clear. We cannot use local government workers. There is a policy that hasn’t changed and that is what will apply for the 2023 general elections,” he said.

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