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Envoy pledges support for INEC

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Kjemprud

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, Mr. Jens-Petter Kjemprud has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigerians for the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections. He also lauded the commission for the steps taken so far since then to improve the electoral process.

The envoy spoke when he paid a courtesy call on the commission yesterday during which he also announced that Norway was prepared to do everything it could to assist INEC to deliver on its mandate.

He also invited the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu and his team to observe the Norwegian Parliamentary Elections and undertake a Study Tour of his country between 6th and 13th September 2017.

While accepting the invitation, Yakubu informed the Ambassador that the commission had always been interested in observing elections in older democracies like Norway, in order to learn useful lessons.

He stated that INEC was working towards making the 2019 general elections better than that of 2015 adding that there were 70 million registered voters currently on the Voters’ Register, while about 1 million Nigerians had so far registered since the commencement of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise on 27th April, 2017.

“We now have 45 political parties. We used to have 40 political parties, but five have just been registered, while there are 103 pending applications. We don’t know how many more we are going to register, but we are a multi-party democracy and all associations that meet the criteria for registration will be registered,” he said.

With the INEC Chairman to receive the Norwegian envoy were National Commissioners Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, Dr Mustapha Lecky, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, Dr Adekunle Ogunmola, Engineer Abubakar Nahuche and Mrs Amina Zakari.

Others include Secretary to the Commission, Mrs. Chinwe Ogakwu, Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, Hon Chairman’s aides: Chief Technical Adviser, Prof Bolide Edina, Special Adviser, Prof. Mohammed Kuna and Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi.

Meanwhile one of the newly registered political parties, Action Democratic Party (ADP) has identified lack of preparation for leadership as a key factor that has dragged Nigeria to a sorry state.

Consequently, the party said it is armed with knowledge and has put together teams that have worked out modalities to tackle the nation’s challenges and come up with ways to ensure the provision of necessary ingredients required to make life more easier for Nigerians.

A statement in Abuja by the party’s national chairman, Eng. Y.Y Sani stated that action has been a key missing link in the polity adding that the party understands the urgency of the situation at the levels of economy, security and general infrastructure and is poised to tackling the challenges if opportune to take over power.

“Our approach is holistic on security. Apart from paying attention to boosting the number of officers and men in our security agencies, training and equipping them, we also know that security breaches are more often than not, tied to issues of poverty, unemployment, injustice and inequality.

“We have therefore; taken time to be strategic and pragmatic in curbing the spate of insecurity in the country,” the statement quoted the chairman as saying.

The approaches of the party according to the chairman, are designed to ensure that the manufacturing sector, agriculture and mining are given equal attention so that all parts of the country can become a lot more productive in adding to the nation’s gross domestic product, GDP.

The interesting part of the party’s plan according to the statement is that, the teeming youth population would be encouraged to be more entrepreneurial than job seekers.



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