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We shall deliver credible polls, INEC assures EU


[FILE PHOTO] INEC chairman Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured the international community, especially the European Union (EU), that it would deliver free, fair, and credible process in next month’s general election. INEC chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who made the vow in Abuja, Wednesday, maintained that his commission would not disappoint the international community and Nigeria.

Stressing that INEC would conduct free and fair elections that would further deepen the nation’s democracy, the INEC boss acknowledged the contribution of the international community, particularly the EU to the planning and implementation of the processes for smooth and credible elections in the country.

He said: “All the heavy items for the election are being procured; additional ballot boxes, voting cubicles, smart card readers, permanent voter cards have also been delivered to the states for collection by citizens. Collection will begin at ward level from January 16 to 21 and thereafter collection will continue to February 8 in our various local government areas.

“We have concluded and published the guidelines for the 2019 general election. We produced the manual for the election, which will be used for the training of ad hoc staff to be used for elections. We are recruiting and will soon start training the ad hoc staff for the election. We are good to go for the 2019 general elections.”

Earlier, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and Head of Delegation, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, disclosed that the EU’s long-term observers were already in Nigeria to monitor the activities leading to the elections, even as he pledged the unbiased support of the Union to ensuring free, fair and credible election.

While commissioning the Election Monitoring and Support Centre constructed by INEC and equipped by EU Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Karlsen declared: “We are not here to support any particular candidate or any particular party or any particular ideology but we as true partners of Nigeria want to see the continuation of the consolidation of democracy.”On her part, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catrina Laing, urged INEC to maintain its independence while discharging the 2019 election duty and promised the support of Britian to the success of the February and March national and state elections.

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