Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has stated that the field experiences of accredited observers would be useful to the commission in the conduct of future elections.
He gave the assurance on Tuesday in Abuja at the formal de-briefing of accredited observers for the 2019 General Elections.
National Commissioner, Professor Antonia Okoosi-Simbine, who represented the INEC chairman acknowledged that the observation of the 2019 election must have presented its challenges on the account of the vast nature and terrain of the country with over 120,000 polling units and voting points.
According to Okoosi-Simbine, the shifting and rescheduling of the date of the polls by the commission posed peculiar or additional challenges to the observers.
“One solace in my view lies in the contribution you are collectively making by your participation in the consolidation of Nigeria’s democratic growth. I am also delighted by the fact that a vast majority of those deployed by your various groups returned safely to their destinations without major hitches.
“Going by the Commission’s record, a total of 120 domestic and 36 foreign groups were accredited for the 2019 General Election. Submissions by the observer groups also indicated that over 85,000 Observers were deployed and participated in each of the two elections.
“The final assessment on the levels of observer participation is being obtained from our respective state offices,” he said.
Participants at the meeting raised observations including the failure of the Smart Card Readers (SCRs), violence, compromise by election officers and misconducts by security operatives among others. He said the de-briefing exercise served as a precursor to the more comprehensive reports the commission was expecting from their respective organizations as soon as possible.