INEC promises to respect, uphold Nigerians’ votes

Road to 2023: INEC promises to respect, uphold Nigerians

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to uphold and respect the opinion of Nigerian voters in determining the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

The Commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when he hosted a delegation of the United Nations Needs Assessment Mission on Monday in Abuja.

He assured that the Commission will do everything possible to ensure that elections in Nigeria continue to get better with the democratic environment increasingly consolidated.

“Election is both national and international; we have a very good working relationship with strategic partners and allies in the country, we work very closely with the political parties, civil society organisations, media, security agencies in the country, but at the same time we also work closely with our friends in the international community such as UNOWAS,” Yakubu stated.

“So whenever you come on this kind of mission, we feel fully encouraged to continue to do what we need to do for the peace and stability of our sub-region. So, I want to assure you that we will continue to do what is right on the basis of the law, the ultimate choice is going to be made by Nigerians.

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“Nigerians will determine who they want in the 2023 general election and we will continue to uphold the choice made by Nigerians. So I want to assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that our election continues to get better and better and the democratic environment is increasingly consolidated. We look forward to seeing you again before and during the election,” he said.
Speaking further, the electoral umpire boss, said: “I want to thank UNOWAS because each time we conduct an election you send a team to monitor and observe our election. I am sure 2023 is not going to be different.

“We are aware of the strategic importance of Nigeria in our sub-region and also our responsibility in ensuring that there is electoral and democratic stability in the sub-region. As you rightly pointed out, there are 15 countries in the sub-region. In order to show the importance of Nigeria in our democracy, as of today, we have 84 million registered voters but Nigeria is one out of 15 countries in the sub-region.

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“But, the total number of registered voters in the other 14 countries put together, is 73 million, meaning that Nigeria has 11 million voters more than other countries in the sub-region put together. Each time Nigeria conducts a general election is like a general election in the whole of West Africa. So, we appreciate the enormous responsibility the Commission is charged with,” he explained.
Earlier, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mahamat Saleh ANNADIF, said that the peace and stability of the country are their priority.

“I will like to thank you for your warm welcome. We are here at the time Nigeria is preparing to hold an election next year, 2023. For us, the peace and stability and the security in the region depend also on Nigeria.

“Nigeria as we always say is a good example, we are happy that the candidates are already selected. The United Nations will always be supportive of Nigeria so that this election will take place peacefully. We congratulate you and we will support you again for the work been done and the work you will do in preparing for this election,” the INEC chairman said.

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