- INEC said it has improved on its electoral practices ahead of the elections
- The electoral body said it is committed to a free and fair election
- INEC chairman said the commission derives joy in ensuring that votes count
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is committed to learning from international best practices to improve the country’s electoral processes.
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when he received the Commonwealth Observer Group led by former Tanzanian president, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, at the commission’s headquarters on Monday, February 11, in Abuja.
Yakubu said observation by international observation groups had helped the commission to improve on its elections.
“I want to reassure the international community that we will always learn lessons from international best practices in ensuring that our elections meet not only national expectations but international best practices.
“We always welcome your observations on how elections are being conducted. Your reports actually strengthened the commission in terms of our processes and procedures.
“I am confidence that at the end of your observation this time around there will be new set of powerful recommendations similar to what you did in 2015,” he said.
Yakubu disclosed that the Commonwealth in its report on the 2015 general election made 32 recommendations including the adoption of Simultaneous Accreditation and Voting System.
He said the commission had looked into the recommendations and implemented those within its power, while those requiring amendment of the Constitution and Electoral Act had been sent to the appropriate authorities.
Yakubu said INEC had conducted 194 off season elections with simultaneously accreditation and voting system, which is now part of election guidelines issued by the commission. He also reassured Nigerians that the election of February 16 and March 2 would be free, fair and credible.
“We are committed to this processes. The only thing the commission derives joy in is ensuring that votes count and that the citizens will determine the leaders of the country at various levels,” he said.
Kikwete said they are in Nigeria to hear from INEC its preparations for election.
The former Tanzanian president said the group would thereafter deploy its members to all parts of the country.
“After the observation the group will come up with its interim report after that we will present out comprehensive report,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Plateau state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed shock over the fire outbreak at the office building of the INEC in Quan Pan council area of the state, calling for the matter to be investigated by security agents.
The chapter expressed the sentiment in a statement which was signed by its chairman, media and publicity committee, Yiljap Abraham, and released on Monday, February 11, Punch reports.
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