By EMMANUEL OLONIRUHA
ABUJA- INEC promised on Tuesday to deliver best ever general elections in Nigeria in 2023.
Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the assurance when he received delegations of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and that of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Abuja.
He said the meeting was the first that INEC was hosting after Saturday’s governorship election in Osun and assured that it would improve on its successes in subsequent elections.
“We are encouraged by your kind words, but there is still a lot of work to do.
“We assure you that we will continue to work not only hard but even harder to deliver the 2023 general elections.
“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 told the delegations.
Prof. Yakubu also spoke about the governorship elections held in Ekiti in June and that of Osun held on Saturday.
“As for the preparation for the 2023 general elections, 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 elections will be our best election ever and we are committed to delivering best election ever,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr Frank LaRose, Secretary of State for Ohio, U.S.A and leader of the delegations, commended INEC on its various efforts at improving on the conduct of elections in Nigeria.
LaRose, who is an election commissioner in the State of Ohio, described his first visit to Nigeria as a great learning opportunity. He urged INEC to keep improving on Nigeria’s electoral system.
“I lead a delegation of high level election experts from around the region, as well as from the United States.
“These are delegations who share with you the common belief 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 election has been conducted under the new Electoral Law.
“We met with the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Osun and we observed many different polling locations on Election Day.
“First, I want to commend you all for the on-going work that you do to continue to improve. We always know there is room to get better.
“We, however, need to first recognise the continuous improvement that INEC has made to deliver safe elections; and that is something that we were able to see first-hand,’’ LaRose said. (NAN)