The United Nations (UN) has predicted that the Nigeria’s forthcoming 2019 general election will be largely violence-free and an improvement that of 2015.
Head of UN Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambers, said this in an interview broadcast on Channels Television.
Chambers said, “Let us not forget that so far there have been some significantly successful elections in this country by the current Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) leadership – gubernatorial elections, senatorial elections, and other by-elections.
“So there have been opportunity for INEC to test itself and so far, as we can all attest to, those elections have been credible and peaceful. This is highly commendable.
“It should be acknowledged that 2015 elections were largely violence-free. There are indications that we will see an improvement upon it in 2019.”
Meanwhile, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has asked the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of relevant laws guiding the conduct of elections in the country, to give the commission sufficient time to prepare for the 2019 general election.
Yakubu said with only 470 days left to the general election, it’s expedient for the lawmakers to pass the legal framework for the conduct of the elections to help INEC begin early to plan the elections.
A statement issued by INEC’s Director in the Department of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, noted that Yakubu expressed the concern when members of the Steering Committee of the Nigerian Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS), led by its Chairman, Hon. Aminu Shehu Shagari, visited him at the commission’s office in Abuja.
In addition, the INEC chairman said the budget for the 2019 general election would be ready next week after the commission validates and approves its Election Project Plan.
“The validation and approval of the Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 and Strategic Programme of Action will give us a clear idea of how much it will cost this nation to conduct the 2019 general election,” the statement reads in part.