Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asserts that the commission would support the decision taken by Nigerians in the general elections of 2023.
At a meeting with Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), on Monday at the commission’s Abuja offices, Yakubu made this statement.
According to the head of INEC, Nigerians will be able to choose their country’s next leader in 2023, and the commission will make sure that their votes are counted in the general elections.
Yakubu said that as part of the current Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) campaign across the country, the commission has registered 84 million voters and more than 10 million new voters.
While thanking UNOWAS for helping INEC during the Nigerian elections, he gave the team the assurance that the commission is still dedicated to a fair electoral process.
In terms of a smooth electoral process, he claimed that INEC, as a responsible organization, was conscious of the strategic significance that a peaceful Nigeria represented for the stability of the West African area.
“I recall that the UNOWAS was supportive of the commission ahead of the last general elections held in 2019.
“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.
“But, the total number of registered voters in the other 14 countries put together, is 73m, 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.
“The 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, and security agencies in the country but at the same time, we also work closely with our friends in the international community such as UNOWAS.
“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.
“Nigerians will determine who they want in the 2023 general election and we will continue to uphold the choice made by Nigerians,” Yakubu said.
Earlier, Annadif stated that the peace and stability of Nigeria, as well as the stability of the West African sub-region, depend on the outcome of the general elections in 2023.
He also thanked Nigeria for holding party primaries smoothly and expressed happiness that party candidates had emerged amicably.
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