With just 38 days to go until national elections in Nigeria, Mahmood Yakubu, head of the country’s Independent National Election Commission (INEC), said on Tuesday that his organization was ready to meet the challenge of managing 93.4 million registered voters through as the February 25 elections progress. As planned.
Yakubu, speaking at Chatham House in London, said INEC is committed to remaining impartial in the race, which will see the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two terms. Buhari agreed to campaign on behalf of his All Progressives Congress (APC) party and his candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Yakubu detailed measures to ensure Nigeria’s elections are peaceful, inclusive and credible, including INEC’s careful attention to voter lists and the identification of errors and ineligible voters. All the new technologies have been successfully tested, he said.
“Our engagement remains only with Nigerians and not with any political party or any candidate,” Yakubu said. “Our loyalty is to Nigeria and the Nigerian people, only the votes they cast will determine who becomes what, it’s in their hands, we value our institutional independence and the integrity of the commission.”
Nigerian candidates have had the chance to take part in a series of Chatham House events focused on the 2023 election, with Tinubu speaking last month. Labor Party candidate Peter Obi spoke on Monday, while Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) candidate, will speak on Wednesday.
Abubakar Atiku, a candidate for the popular Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), did not respond to an invitation to speak, according to Chatham House officials.
Image: Chatham House