Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prof. Mahmood Yakubu has assured Nigerians that the forthcoming 2023 general elections will be Nigeria’s best polls ever.
Addressing a delegation from the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) on assessment of preparations for the 2023 general elections at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday, Yakubu said INEC remains committed to delivering the best election ever just as the way it kept its promise of improved polls in the recent Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
Yakubu said INEC would continue to work hard to deliver the 2023 general election.
He said, “Thank you very much for all the kind words you have said about Osun. We are encouraged but there is still a lot of work to do and we assure you that we will continue to work not only hard but even harder to deliver the 2023 general election.
“But as for the preparation for the 2023 general elections, I want to assure you that we promised Nigerians that Ekiti was going to be good and Ekiti was a good election.
“We promised that Osun was going to be better, Osun was a better election. We are promising that the 2023 general elections will be our best election ever and we are committed to delivering the best election ever.
“This is the first meeting that the commission is hosting after the Osun governorship election. I have listened to some of the issues raised but perhaps, when we go into the working session there will be an opportunity for us to respond to some of the issues,” he said.
Earlier, the Secretary of State of the State of Ohio in the United States of America and leader of the delegation, Frank LaRose, said they were in Nigeria preparatory to the 2023 general election, adding that Nigerians deserve credible polls.
LaRose said having observed the Osun governorship election, there was room for improvement and commended INEC for continuously improving the electoral process in the country.
He said he led a delegation of high-level election experts from around the region, as well as from the United States, who share with the commission the belief that the people of Nigeria deserve to have a free, fair, and credible election.
He said, “We took the opportunity to visit Osun because that was only the second time an election has been conducted under the new electoral law. We met with the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Osun State, and we observed dozens, many different polling locations on election day.
“First, I want to commend you all for the ongoing work that you do to continue to improve. Of course, we always know there is room to get better, but we need to first recognise the continuous improvement that INEC has made to deliver safe elections to the people of Nigeria, and that is something that we were able to see firsthand,” he said.
Also, NDI regional director for Central and West Africa and Jenai Cox, IRI regional deputy director for Africa Christopher Fumonyoh hailed INEC’s efforts over the years to deliver credible election and sued for better polls in 2023.