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2019: INEC promises Nigerians free, fair polls

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has promised to conduct credible general elections next year.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this promise while speaking at the 6th Anniversary Lecture and Investiture into the Realnews Hall of Fame in Lagos yesterday.

The event was tagged: “Political transitions and Africa’s economic development: Preparations for Nigeria’s 2019 general elections”.

According to Yakubu, the commission was aware that the conduct of the 2019 elections was a tough task, but that INEC was determined to leave no stone unturned to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

Yakubu said: “It is true that political stability is a prerequisite for economic growth. It is also true that no economy flourishes in a situation of uncertainty.

“Nations cannot develop, if they are unstable. We have seen nations and cities destroyed by unacceptable electoral outcomes.

“Democratic transition through periodic and credible elections is the best way to ensure certainty that will guarantee and sustain political stability.

“We will never ever fail the nation. Our commitment is that we will never give Nigerians excuses.”

Yakubu said there could be no peaceful or sustainable political transition and consequential economic and other benefits to citizens without credible and peaceful elections through a transparent and inclusive electoral process.

To achieve this goal, the INEC chairman called on all stakeholders – governments, election administrators, security agencies, civil society groups, the media, political parties, candidates and their supporters – to play their roles.

He added that at the end of the exercise, some 14.5 million Nigerians were added to the existing register of about 70 million, and the voters register for the 2019 elections had hit 84.2 million.

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