Independent National Electoral Commission has said that a total of 146,913 domestic and international observers will be deployed for the 2023 general election.
This was made known by the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at the INEC briefing for observers of the 2023 general election in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the INEC chairman, the number of observers is the largest in the history of the country.
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The commission accredited 196 national and domestic organisations that deployed 144,800 observers and 33 international organisations that deployed 2,113 observers.
“For the 2023 general election beginning this weekend with the Presidential and National Assembly elections, the commission has accredited 196 national or domestic groups that are collectively deploying 144,800 observers.
“Similarly, the commission accredited 33 international organisations deploying 2,113 observers. In all, 229 groups are deploying 146,913 observers for the 2023 General Election.
“This is the largest deployment of domestic and international observers in the history of elections in Nigeria.”
Yakubu also noted that the observations and recommendations from election observers over the years have helped to improve the country’s electoral process.
“The progressive improvement in our electoral democracy since 1999 draws in part from the reports of observers and the study tours.
“That is why over the years, the commission has sent open or specific invitations to national and international observers.”
The INEC chairman, however, urged the observers not to be partisan and also to abide by the laws of Nigeria while discharging their duties on election day.
“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. He said
“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, listen to the presentation to be made shortly and ask questions where you require further clarification.”
The Regional Director, Africa, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Clara Cole, who spoke during the programme, said election observations provide improvements for election, pleading with both national and domestic observers to abide by the rules of INEC.
“As we are aware, election observations contribute to public confidence, expose irregularities and provide improvements of elections.
“Hence, this briefing session provides an opportunity for INEC to lay emphasis on procedures, guidelines and innovation to observers who will be participating in this process. This is why IFES will continue to support INEC in recognising the roles of observers in strengthening electoral process.
“To all observers alike, I thank you for your willingness to be part of this process, observing and supporting INEC to deliver an incredible, and transparent process for the citizens of Nigeria.
“The national and international observers are to adhere to the guidelines and principles ascribed to you by INEC.”
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