By Joy Odor
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has inaugurated an 18-member Strategic Plan Committee with 10 Terms of Reference and a deadline of 40 days to turn in its report for preparations for some upcoming off-season elections and the 2023 General Election.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who unveiled members of the Committee, said the Commission cannot afford to approach election management on an ad-hoc basis but from the premise of carefully planned and well-articulated actions.
He said the Strategic Plan will not only form the basis for the Election Project Plan (EPP) to be used for the 2023 General Election, it will also enable the Commission to identify all events, programmes and actions to be implemented before then.
Tracing the background, Prof. Yakubu said he was happy that it was the third time in the history of the Commission that such a Committee was being put in place since the beginning of the era of planning for elections.
He said: “The Strategic Plan will help us to track the off-season governorship elections taking place between this year 2021 and 2023 to ensure that these elections are also properly implemented.
As you are aware, there are three such elections. The first one, for which we have already issued the timetable and schedule of activities, is the Anambra Governorship Election taking place in November this year. Then, next year, we have two off season Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states.”
Speaking on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee, Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Tijjani Mu’azu (retired), a member, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu assured the INEC Chairman that members of the Committee possess the experience and capability to carry out the terms of reference assigned to them.
According to the Terms of Reference, the Committee will among others:
assess the impact of the 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan (SP) and Plan of Action (SPA) on processes, programmes and outcomes of the 2019 general election against the recommendations of the 2019 Observer Reports as well as those of the Commission’s 2019 Election Review Report;
identify and evaluate the strategic issues emanating from the implementation of the 2019 Election Project Plan and related electoral activities;
identify threats, weaknesses, gaps, uncompleted actions/programmes as well as opportunities of the 2017-2021 SP/SPA;
design, develop and produce the 2022 – 2026 Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Plan of Action (SPA) including schedules of validation retreats with stakeholders;
produce draft copies of the findings of the review report on the 2017 – 2021 Strategic Plan with key recommendations;
produce draft copies of the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan (SP) and Strategic Plan of Action (SPA)
Members of the Committee include three National Commissioners, Two Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Hon Chairman’s Technical Team, eight Directors and two external Consultants.