2019: UN confident of credible polls
The United Nations (UN) has said it is confident that Nigeria’s 2019 general polls would be credible and devoid of violence.
Head of the UN Office For West Africa, Dr Mohammed IBN Chambers, made the prediction during an interview monitored on a Lagos-based broadcast organisation, at the weekend.
Said Chambas: “It should be acknowledged that the 2015 elections were largely violence-free. There are indications that we will see an improvement upon it in 2019.
“You do have in Nigeria, an election body that has a good capacity. It was demonstrated in 201; to the admiration of all of us. So, we are confident that, in 2019, the current INEC leadership will deliver better results than we saw in 2015 and consolidate on its gains.”
Chambas also said the UN has regular engagements with INEC and is collaborating to develop a needs assessment framework.
“Once this is done, within weeks,” he said, “then, we will have a good understanding in which areas INEC will need international support. The support is not only from the UN, but from the wider international community.”
He urged federal lawmakers to fast-track legislation that would back electronic voting system so as to avoid recent electoral hiccups as it did in Kenya.
Chambers, who doubles as the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, commended INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for his transparency and commitment to credible polls.
He said Yakubu has not only demonstrated competence in recent elections conducted within the country, but has also shared his experience with other West African states.
“This confidence that the UN is expressing in INEC is shared in the region where INEC has been on ground, in some countries. I was a witness to the role it played in Republic of Benin, last year.
“In Sierra Leone, contacts have been made there, to share experiences and to help. And, even in Liberia, in the first round of the elections, Prof Yakubu was there, in his capacity as the president of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions…He went there to support Liberia and the process, as you know, by and large, was very credible.”
“INEC has shared its experience. And like I said before, internally INEC is also on top of the situations, very eager to work with partners.”