By Akombo Aondona, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned accredited election observers not to do anything that will jeopardize the electoral process in the 2023 general election, which is four days away.
Chairman, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu stated this on Tuesday 21 February 2023 at the briefing for the accredited election observers for the 2023 general election held at the International Conference Center, ICC, Abuja
Yakubu said: “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. 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.
“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.”