*As EU observation mission set to release 2019 election report
By Henry Umoru & Omeiza Ajayi
AHEAD of 2023 elections, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to reform the nation’s electoral system as part of moves to strengthen it.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a meeting with the Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission, Maria Arena, Yakubu promised that recommendations to be provided by the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in the 2019 polls, would form major inputs in the areas of reform expected to be submitted soon to the recently inaugurated 9th National Assembly.
He however hailed the EU for her interest in Nigeria’s democratic process, especially for the deployment of 91 observers to 261 polling units and 94 collation centres in 31 States of the Federation during the last Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The INEC boss also commended the EU for the deployment of 73 observers to 223 polling units and 81 collation centres in 22 States of the federation for the Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council elections.
Yakubu explained that the 30 observations and recommendations made available by the EU election observation mission in 2015 would among others, be instrumental to the improvement of Nigeria’s electoral processes, adding that this will include the consolidation of the country’s democratic system since 1999.
According to INEC chairman the recommendation by the EU that INEC would merge the accreditation and voting processes on election day, a system which was tested ran during the Bayelsa governorship election of December 2015 remains invaluable till date.
The EU observation mission will officially release the report and recommendations arising from the 2019 general elections today in Abuja.
It would be recalled that no fewer than 75 political parties had passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of INEC, especially for going through all odds to conduct the general elections nationwide.