Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has promised Nigerians that the 2023 general election will be the best-ever in the country.
Yakubu made the promise while addressing a delegation from the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute on the assessment of the preparation for the 2023 general election at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said INEC is seriously committed to
delivering the best election ever just as the commission kept its promise of improved polls in the recent Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
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 election, 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 election will be our best election ever and we are committed to delivering the best election ever.”
Yakubu said the meeting was the first the commission hosted 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 added.
Earlier, Frank LaRose, secretary of state of the state of Ohio, United States and leader of the delegation, 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 the improved electoral process in the country.
He said: “I lead a delegation of high-level election experts from around the region, as well as from the United States, who share with you the common believe that the people of Nigeria deserve to continue to have free, fair, and acceptable elections; so we are working to prepare for the presidential election in 2023.
“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 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 first-hand.”
In their separate remarks, Christopher Fumonyoh, NDI regional director for Central & West Africa, and Jenai Cox, IRI regional deputy director for Africa, hailed INEC’s efforts over the years to deliver credible elections in Nigeria.