The United Nations (UN) has pledged to build the capacity of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the use and application of modern technology in the conduct of elections.
The Peace and Development Advisor, UN Systems in Nigeria, Mr Zebulon Takwa, made the pledge during a visit to INEC on Wednesday in Abuja.
However, he urged INEC to ensure that the necessary legislation are put in place to back e-voting and use of other technology which had proven very effective in the last elections.
Takwa commended the successes of INEC in the 2015 general elections and urged the commission to improve in 2019.
“We are here to commend INEC for the role they play in conducting free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
“INEC has continued to demonstrate strong capacity and neutrality with high professional standards and we highly commend the commission.
“This role is exactly what member states of ECOWAS and indeed African Union expects from Nigeria giving its natural leadership role on the continent,’’ he said.
The UN official said INEC has put Nigeria on the pedestal as far as conduction of credible elections are concerned.
He also urged the commission to ensure wide participation in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
Takwa said particular attention should be given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and those living with disability.
Besides, he urged the commission to ensure that the number of polling units reflects the result of the 2006 National Census.
He said the UN remains committed to supporting INEC to improve on the good practices that were already established.
Responding, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission would continue consolidate democracy in the country.
The INEC helmsman said the commission would also continue to partner with countries to develop democracy in Africa.
“Elections in Nigeria are in good hands, we shall continue to consolidate and support countries in the region,” the chairman said.
He assured that the commission was already working on ensuring wider inclusion in the 2019 general elections.