Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The United Nations has pledged to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free, fair and credible 2019 general elections.
Special Representative of the UN Seccretary General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas, who led the delegation, reminded the commission that the rest of the world are looking forward towards a peaceful elections in Nigeria.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the Commission, on Wednesday, Chambas said as part of efforts to ensure a hitch-free poll, the delegation would be meeting with candidates in the coming weeks.
“We are looking forward to a peaceful election in Nigeria. All the member states are looking towards Nigeria,” he said.
While urging INEC to support youth and gender participation in the elections, Chambas said: “We intend to meet other candidates in the next coming weeks.”
He further said the delegation had raised some issues with top Federal Government functionaries, concerning funding and security.
“We’ve also taken up the issue of security, on Monday, when we were received by the hierarchy of the Nigerian Armed Forces and, also, the hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force. We discussed with them on the preparations to secure the electoral process and to give INEC assurance they will perform in a secured environment and conduct elections across the length and breath of Nigeria,” he revealed. Chambers, however, expressed confidence that the security agencies will do their beats so as to ensure fair and transparent elections.
He said: “We were given this assurance that they will carry out their constitutional responsibility to make sure all Nigerians registered to vote will cast their votes.”
The UN delegation appealed that opportunity be given to youth and women to run in the coming elections.
While commending the country for the ‘Not too Young to Run and the gender laws in place, he noted that efforts must be made to implement the laws, which will lead to more inclusiveness going forward.