The era of ballot box stuffing and snatching by political thugs are gone, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said.
The INEC Administrative Secretary in Kaduna State, Alhaji Muhammed Mashi, gave the assurance when members of a non-governmental organisation, under the aegis of Integrity Group for Better Nigeria, paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna, the state capital.
Mashi said such scenario had been rendered impossible by the electoral body.
He said Nigerians would be surprised and happy about the smooth conduct and outcome of the forthcoming general elections across the country.
The INEC scribe added that the state office had received both sensitive and non sensitive materials for the elections next year.
“With the new electoral reform, Nigerians will be surprised and happy to see what will happen in the 2023 election because it will be smooth and transparent, free and fair.
“Issue of ballot stuffing and snatching will not happen, and no voter can vote twice. The election will be smooth so that if Mr. A wins the election, Mr. B will not hesitate to congratulate Mr. A, and vice versa.
“People who did multiple registration will be taken to court because it is a criminal offence. Whoever perpetrated the offence will face the wrath of the law.
“We have started receiving both sensitive and insensitive materials for the 2023 elections. We are improving day by day.
“Those who did fresh registration and transfer of polling booths in July can go and collect their PVCs because they are ready,” he added.
Earlier in his address, the Convener of IGBN, Chief Patrick Lawson, had told the secretary that the group was impressed by the way INEC conducted Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections, urging the commission to maintain the tempo as well as improve upon it.
The IGBN boss said, “We are a non-governmental organisation group that is passionate about political development and progress of our dear country. We are in partnership with other organisations to ensure that religion and ethnicity should not be barriers to the nation’s unity.
“We are saying that we should rather look for a person that has the capacity to lead the country. So we want to partner with INEC to ensure transparency in the elections.
“So far INEC is doing well and it should continue to do well. We are pleased with INEC over the issue of PVCs as only those who registered can get the PVCs.
“We are happy that in recent times INEC has done so well, especially in the conduct of governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states. We are indeed impressed.”