INEC accredits 229 groups for election observations

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has accredited 229 national and international groups that would be deploying 146,913 observers for the general elections starting on February 25.

The chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Wednesday, February 22 in Abuja at a media briefing for accredited observers for the elections.


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Yakubu said the commission approved the accreditation of 196 national and domestic organisations that are deploying 144,800 observers, and 33 international organisations that are deploying 2,113 observers.

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Yakubu noted that the number was the largest in the history of the country.

He called on the observers not to be partisan, stressing that the foreign observers must respect Nigeria’s sovereignty.

The INEC chairman warned that the observers must not interfere in the country’s electoral process or show partisanship.

He said, “I wish to remind observers that there is a code of conduct for election observation. You are, by definition, observers. Do not interfere with the process or show partisanship.

“In addition, international observers must be guided by the fact that the election is conducted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose sovereignty must be respected. I urge you all to keep to the rules, listen to the presentation that will be made shortly, and ask questions where you require further clarification.”

In the same vein, the United Kingdom had on Tuesday, February 21, promised to take action against those elements planning to subvert democratic processes in Nigeria.




     

     

    In a statement released by the British High Commission, the UK’s Minister of State for Development & Africa, Andrew Mitchell, vowed to use all legal tools available to the country against groups or individuals who seek to undermine the general elections in Nigeria.

    “Where the UK is aware of attempts to subvert democratic processes at the National or State level, we are prepared to take action against those who engage in or incite electoral violence and other anti-democratic behaviours.

    “These actions could include preventing people from obtaining UK visas or imposing sanctions under our human rights sanctions regime,” Mitchell said.

    The UK government reinstated its commitment to supporting credible and inclusive elections, adding that the success of Nigeria’s elections was fundamental to regional and global democracy.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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