The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says the electoral body is the most improved public service institution in Nigeria.
Mr Yakubu said this at the 2019 Post Election Review Meeting held at Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday morning. He was represented at the event by a commissioner of INEC, Mustapha Lecky.
The event also had in attendance representatives of European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) who are development partners with INEC. Others at the event were the Secretary to the Commission, Directors, other electoral officers and members of the INEC Press Corps.
Mr Yakubu said taking into account the size of the voter population, the size of the country and elections between 1999 till date, the improvement shown by INEC is unparalleled
“We have offices in all the local government areas. Tell me one agency which has offices in the local government areas and their staff work as hard as our electoral officers and staff at the local government level.”
The chairman said although INEC has everything to be proud of, it will not rest on that knowledge, knowing it can do more.
“Therefore, the purpose of this interactive meeting is for us to explore ways and means by which we can improve the system even more. And that is why we said, first and foremost, we should gather people who have the kind of experience that you have,” he said.
Mr Yakubu urged the attendees to share the experiences they have garnered from managing elections in order to improve the Nigerian electoral process.
Also speaking at the event, the representative of ECES, Maria Teresa, said it is ready to support the work INEC is doing in Nigeria.
“We look forward to this review because this review will set the pace for the forthcoming activities and we will be absolutely delighted and it would be delightful to continue to work with you”, she said.
Similarly, the representative of IFES, Seray Jah, congratulated INEC on the successful conduct of the 2019 elections. He said IFEC had enjoyed a good relationship with INEC since 2011, although it has been in Nigeria since 1998.
“We see progressively a commission that is transparent and willing to do the right thing to enhance the electoral democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
He thanked all the electoral officers for their contributions, saying, “you are called the unsung heroes of commissions across Africa and you are the heroes and you’ve put a lot of commitment, effort to ensure that the elections that happened in recent 2019 were successful”.
“We hope that this meeting will lead to actionable recommendations that will further enhance credible elections in Nigeria”, he said.
He ended his remarks by thanking the donors, United States Agency for International Development, UKAID, for their consistency in supporting electoral democracy in Nigeria.
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