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INEC to work with EU to deliver free, fair elections

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THE chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission would work together with the European Union to organise free and fair elections in Nigeria.

Yakubu disclosed this today in a statement the commission issued, titled, ‘Goodwill Message on the Occasion of the Closure of Phase I and Launch of Phase II of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).’

According to him, the commission would collaborate with the consortium of partners to implement the support to the INEC component of the EU-SDGN II.

He also assured of the commission’s commitment to ensuring an enabling environment to facilitate the work of the partners for the successful implementation of the programme.

“The choice of the partners signifies a vote of confidence in their capacity to undertake actions and implement activities that are critical to promoting the institutionalisation of democratic norms in our country. We will work with the implementing partners for free, fair, credible and inclusive elections,” he added.

Yakubu stressed that the commission would welcome the deployment of international and local observers during the election period, in line with INEC guidelines.

“The Commission considers the deployment of such election observation missions as a means of enhancing public confidence and trust in Nigeria’s elections.

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“Their recommendations have been especially useful in reviewing our processes and the introduction of some of the progressive reforms in our electoral legal framework in line with global good practices,” he said.

The INEC chairman added that the electoral Commission had already sent out letters to international organisations for election observations.

Some of the organisations, according to him, are the United Nations, European Union, Commonwealth, the African Union and ECOWAS.

He explained it remained the responsibility of the Federal government to provide sensitive and non-sensitive materials for the elections.

He expressed the commission’s appreciation to international development partners for the enhancement of training and capacity building of members.

Yakubu said, “The Commission appreciates the support of international development partners to enhance training and capacity building of officials; stakeholder engagement for peaceful election; production and dissemination of messages for voter education and sensitisation; enhancing the active and meaningful participation of all segments of society in the electoral process with particular reference to women, youth, Persons with Disability (PWD) and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs); and, finally, election conflict mitigation, management and resolution.”

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'Niyi worked with The ICIR as an Investigative Reporter and Fact-checker from 2020 till September 2022. You can shoot him an email via niyioyedeji1@gmail.com. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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