UN Scribe Tasks INEC on Free and Fair Elections

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The United Nations (UN) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) strive towards ensuring that it conduct more credible elections in the country.

The UN body said that building of technological capacity and sustaining its application will help to improve the conduct of elections in the country.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guteres who was represented by his special representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Mr. Mohammed IBN Chambers, gave the advise in Abuja yesterday while on a courtesy visit on INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu.

He emphasised the need for the commission to embrace technology which has been accepted the world over as a measure for the conduct of free and fair elections.

The UN scribe acknowledged the efforts by the commission to improve elections in the country, adding that the commission’s current leadership should be taken as a model for nations under the West African sub region.

He also commended INEC for announcing election dates for the general elections way ahead of the scheduled year which is 2019 as well as the number of registered voters in the ongoing Civic Voters Registration (CVR) exercise.
According to Chambers, the need to include the internally displaced persons in the country’s electoral process cannot be over emphasised.

On Ekiti and Osun governorship elections coming up next year, he said will be another trial match for the commission, given that its outcome will be a reflection of the general election in 2019.
Yakubu assured the UN visiting team of the commission’s commitment to sustaining democracy in the country and the region at large.

He pledged the election monitoring body’s resolve to partner a regional body, ECOWAS network of electoral commissions, ECONEC to improving on elections adding that it is better and easier to monitor elections than deploy the regions military force, ECOWAS when elections are deemed to be flawed.