INEC to observers, don’t interfere, accredits 146,913 to monitor poll - 9japarrot


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Wednesday 22 February 2023

INEC to observers, don’t interfere, accredits 146,913 to monitor poll


By Nurat Uthman

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said a total of 146,913 domestic and international observers will be deployed for the 2023 general elections. The Commission, therefore, warned observers against interfering in the elections.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at the Commission’s briefing for observers in Abuja, yesterday. According to the INEC boss, the number of observers is the largest in the country’s history.

He said the Commission accredited 196 national and domestic organisations that deployed 144,800 observers and 33 international organisations that deployed 2,113 observers.

Yakubu, however, urged the observers to abide by the laws of Nigeria while discharging their duties on election day.

He said: “I wish to remind observers that there is a code of conduct for election observation. You are by definition observers. Do not interfere with the process or show partisanship.

“In addition, international observers must be guided by the fact that the election is conducted by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, whose sovereignty must be respected. I urge you all to keep to the rules.”

Yakubu also noted that the observations and recommendations from election observers over the years have helped to improve the country’s electoral process.

Speaking at the programme, the Regional Director, Africa, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Clara Cole, said election observations provide improvements for election, pleading with both national and domestic observers to abide by the rules of INEC.

AHEAD of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly election, the United Kingdom has promised to deal with any individual, politician or not, who may want to use violence or engage in practises that may jeopardise the future of Nigeria’s democratic process.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, made this known, yesterday, during an interview with Arise TV.

According to Laing, the British government has decided to toe the American government’s line, which promised earlier this month during a visit to INEC headquarters to impose a visa ban on an individual or group of individuals, who plan or get involved in violent activities that may jeopardise the Nigerian electioneering process.

“So, our policy is very similar to the Americans; and we are watching very closely even if we have evidence to suggest that an individual isn’t necessarily a politician by the way. Such an individual or group of individuals doesn’t have to be politicians but could be somebody from the security side; it could be an individual citizen who is not directly a politician.

“As long as the person is inciting violence or directly participating in violence, the British government, through the High Commission in Nigeria, can prevent such an individual from travelling to the UK.”

She added: “We also have a new tool in our armoury that is human rights-related — sanctions can be placed on that individual. You will see later today a statement on the election from our Development Minister and African Minister, Andrew Mitchel, and there will be a clear statement on this which will be coming out soon.”

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