Barely a week after the European Union (EU) Election Observer released its report on the March 2019 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called on accredited observers to make their reports available.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said in Abuja, at the presentation of a joint report on the 2019 general elections to the commission by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Yakubu said that the reports would enable the commission “take a global view of the recommendations.”
He pledged that the commission would study every recommendation made by observers on the conduct of the elections.
He said that the commission welcomed criticisms of the elections adding that “friends criticize, but detractors condemn.”
He recalled that the commission on Friday received the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission.
Yakubu disclosed that INEC accredited 159 organisations (made up of 39 foreign and 120 domestic) to monitor the 2019 general elections, noting further that a total 73,258 observers were deployed by accredited organisations to the field.
“Some of the organisations have already submitted their reports,” he added.
He expressed hope that the IRI/NDI report was “all-encompassing with clear recommendations for all institutions involved in the electoral process.”
“Given the size and peculiarities of different parts of the country, it is understandable that no single observer group covered every polling unit and collation centre throughout the federation.”
He promised that INEC would continue to partner with IRI and NDI to improve electoral and democratic processes in Nigeria.
Yakubu said that the commission had already embarked on its own internal reviews of the electoral process.
“Your report is coming at the right time.
“I wish to assure you that we will implement aspects of your recommendations that require administrative action by the commission beginning with the forthcoming Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections scheduled for 16th November 2019.
“We will also work with other institutions on aspects of your recommendations that require consequential action beyond the mandate of the commission,” he assured.
Speaking earlier, Leader of the delegation, Dr Chris Fomunyoh, NDI’s Senior Associate for Africa and Regional Director for Central and West Africa, said the purpose of the visit was to submit advance copy of the report.
Fomunyoh said that details of the report would be delivered to the Nigerian public today.
The joint IRI/NDI team deployed 40 international observers to 16 states of the country during the presidential and National Assembly elections, and 20 international observers to 10 states for the governorship and state Assembly elections.
Elizabeth Lewis, Acting Regional Director for Africa Division at the IRI, was also part of the delegation.