The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, says the commission will uphold the choice made by Nigerians in the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu stated this on Monday when he received the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mahamat Saleh Annadif, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The INEC boss said that Nigerians will be allowed to decide who becomes the next president in 2023 and the commission will ensure that the votes of Nigerians count in the 2023 general elections.
Yakubu disclosed that the commission has registered 84 million voters and has registered over 10 million new voters in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise across the country.
While commending UNOWAS for supporting INEC during the conduct of elections in Nigeria, he assured the team that the commission remains committed to a fair electoral process.
He said INEC, as a responsible agency, was aware of the strategic importance that a peaceful Nigeria meant to the stability of the West African region in terms of a seamless electoral process.
“I recall that the UNOWAS was supportive of the commission ahead of the last general elections held in 2019.
“As you rightly pointed out, there are 15 countries in the sub-region. In order to show the importance of Nigeria in our democracy, as of today, we have 84 million registered voters but Nigeria is one out of 15 countries in the sub-region.
“But, the total number of registered voters in the other 14 countries put together, is 73m, meaning that Nigeria has 11 million voters more than other countries in the sub-region put together.
“Each time Nigeria conducts a general election is like a general election in the whole of West Africa. So, we appreciate the enormous responsibility the commission is charged with.
“The election is both national and international. We have a very good working relationship with strategic partners and allies in the country.
“We work very closely with the political parties, civil society organizations, media, and security agencies in the country but at the same time, we also work closely with our friends in the international community such as UNOWAS.
“So, I want to assure you that we will continue to do what is right on the basis of the law; the ultimate choice is going to be made by Nigerians.
“Nigerians will determine who they want in the 2023 general election and we will continue to uphold the choice made by Nigerians,” Yakubu said.
Earlier, Annadif said the success of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria is important for the nation’s peace and stability as well as the stability of the West African sub-region.
He also congratulated Nigeria for the successful conduct of party primaries and expressed joy that candidates of parties emerged peacefully.
Akinshola Akintelure is a Content Writer, a tech savvy and Social Media Manager.