2023 Elections: INEC accredited 146,913 election observers

By Jibril Almustapha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  has accredited 146,913 election observers to participate in the forthcoming national and states elections in the country. 

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, at the briefing of accredited observers held at the International Conference Center in Abuja on Tuesday. Prof. Yakubu declared that 144,800 individuals from 196 national/domestic groups and 2,113 individuals from 33 international organisations were duly accredited by the commission.

The chairman’s briefing reads in parts:

“In line with global good practice, electoral commissions in most jurisdictions invite national and international organisations to deploy observers or organise study tours for election managers during elections. As a consequence, observers submit reports to electoral commissions highlighting strengths and weaknesses of processes. Arising from study tours, election managers also learn from other jurisdictions. 

The reports and recommendations of observers and the knowledge from the study tours help electoral commissions to progressively improve processes.

“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 implication is that all accredited observers are guests of INEC.

“This is the largest deployment of domestic and international observers in the history of elections in Nigeria. Today’s briefing for observers is in keeping with international good practice. 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. 

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.

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