Collins Nnabuife, Abuja
Electoral Hub, an electoral observers group has said that a successful poll at the 2023 general elections would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and national unity.
This is just as it passed a vote of confidence on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), based on its preparedness to conduct a hitch-free poll.
Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, Chairperson of the Hub while addressing journalists in Abuja, urged eligible voters to play their part by exercising their civic duty.
He said: “As you know, we are approaching what many of you have described in the media as make or mar elections that are scheduled to take place on 25th of this month.
“The flag-off of the presidential and National Assembly elections, which will be followed by the State Assembly and governorship elections.
“To put it in a historical context, we note that every election in Nigeria has been an important election.
“From the election that ushered us into independence to the current processes leading to the 25 February election.
“There is a special significance of the election on Saturday. It has the potentiality if all goes well to strengthen our democracy, to strengthen our election management body and to strengthen our bond of national unity.
“And it is in the spirit of that potentiality that we in the electoral forum have been having deliberation that has culminated in our 9th technical meeting aimed at looking at the opportunities that are available to enable us to achieve a better democratic system, a stronger institutional arrangements for election management and a more united and peaceful country of the forthcoming elections as well as identify potential challenges that could undermine those aspirations with the view to encouraging all key stakeholders to address those challenges in the greater interest of our country.
“On the basis of our deliberations and interactions which we have had with various stakeholders and a key official of INEC at the national level, we can declare ourselves reasonable satisfied that INEC at the national level has taken most of the steps that are necessary to ensure that we have peaceful elections.
“And in that regard, we offer our encouragement and solidarity to the INEC leadership.
“And we also encourage all Nigerians in exercising their rights on Saturday to do so with the full awareness that the success of the will be as much for them as it would be for INEC.
“Of course, we are aware of broader challenges in the policy that do not necessarily emanate from the work of INEC and we commend the patience and the maturity which majority of Nigerians have demonstrated in the face of those challenges.
“And see that exercise of patience and maturity as being a mark of that potentiality I spoke about, of emerging out of these elections as a more united, more democratic and a stronger country.”
He said that the Electoral Hub has deployed 200 electoral observers across the country ahead of the Saturday presidential and National Assembly election.
Also, former acting Chairman of INEC, Amina Zakari, expressed hope that the elections would be one of the best in Nigeria’s political history.
She said “at the end of the day we hope by Saturday we will have one of the best elections conducted for the country, so that it can strengthen our democracy as mentioned. And we hope Nigerians will come out en masse on Saturday.
“Be rest assured the elections will hold and they will be credible, fair and transparent. We are calling on all Nigerians to come out and cast their votes, whereby this democracy can be sustained.”