The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Nigeria and former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, has stressed the need for a peaceful and inclusive general election in Nigeria.
He made the call on Monday in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the arrival of Commonwealth observers in Nigeria.
He noted that they came very hopeful and very confident that Nigeria will have successful elections.
Mbeki also urged the country’s political parties, candidates, and their supporters to play their part in ensuring peaceful, transparent, and credible elections on Saturday, 25 February 2023.
“We have come here essentially, therefore, to listen, to understand as much as we can, your own views in terms of the preparations for the elections and anything and everything else, concerning the elections that fall within the ambit of the INEC,” he said.
Mbeki said that understanding INEC as observers was important because, in the end, they will make a statement about the elections.
Responding, the INEC chairman Prof. Yakubu Mahmood commended the Commonwealth for honouring the invitation sent to the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, to the Commonwealth Election Observation Mission to Nigeria.
“We invited you, so you are welcome as our guests. The 2023 general election is the seventh successive general election in Nigeria since the restoration of democracy in 1999. This is the longest period of electoral democracy,” Yakubu said.