President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed confident that with the adequate preparations that have so far been made, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will conduct credible elections, starting in February this year.
Speaking when he received the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, Buhari said that he had listened earlier in the day, to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.
“I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day.”
The President told the EU delegation, led by led by the Chief Observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, that Nigeria had grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better year after year.
“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections.”
President Buhari said that Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”
He stressed that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) administration had the good sense of identifying the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.
The President thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections, and in the affairs of the nation generally.
The EOM team, accompanied by the Head of European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, said that the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.
The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.