By Joseph Erunke & Jude Okpara
ABUJA – CHAIRMAN of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Wednesday, presented certificate of return to General Muhammadu Buhari, winner of last Saturday’s presidential election.
The short but joyous event, which took place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, saw many governors of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, party faithful and supporters in attendance.
Buhari received the certificate along with his vice president-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
Speaking at the occasion, the INEC chairman pledged to improve on the country’s electoral process just as he thanked all who contributed in one way or the other to ensure the conduct of last week’s presidential and National Assembly elections.
He said: “We believe that it is important to keep on reforming and improving on Nigeria’s electoral process. It is important that we do this for the integrity of our governance process and for deepening democracy in our country.
“We pledge to all Nigerians that as a commission, we will continuously do our best under all circumstances to ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.”
“We have done our best under all circumstances and we have realized that a large number of Nigerians utilized the opportunity and came out to exercise their franchise, ”he added.
He thanked all Nigerians, including Director General of the National Youth Service Corps, who contributed in one way or the other for the smooth conduct of the polls, appealing to them to do same in the remaining elections expected to come up on April 11.
“We would like to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for all Nigerians for their support and that they have been giving to our officials to see the successful conduct of these elections.
“I would use this opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of a number of stakeholders to the successful conduct of the presidential elections, particularly; we will like to acknowledge the contributions of our permanent staff, who worked tirelessly under very difficult challenges to discharge their jobs creditably.
“I would express our appreciation to the Director General of the NYSC and our young men and women on national service, who have worked also to ensure credibility of this exercise, ”he added.
He disclosed: “We have used many people as ad-hoc staff, about 700 people, who will also worked for the remaining elections on April 11.”