2023: Over 146k observers will monitor elections, says INEC

Our reporters| More than 146,000 domestic and international observers will be deployed for the general election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Tuesday.

Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, who made the disclosure during a briefing with observers in Abuja, said the figure is the largest in the history of Nigeria’s elections.

The INEC boss told the observers that their reports and recommendations highlighting strengths and weaknesses of the processes helped the commission to progressively improve.

“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,” he said.

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“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.”

He, however, reminded the observers that there is a code of conduct for election observation in Nigeria and warned them to “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,” he said.

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