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INEC didn’t receive funding from development partners in 2023 elections – Yakubu

THE chairperson of Nigeria’s Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, has stated that the commission received no direct money or cash assistance from overseas development partners.

Yakubu stated that the clarifications were required to dispel the myth that the commission received financing from development partners for the 2023 general election.

He made the remarks while meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Abuja today as part of the commission’s post-election review.

“It is necessary to seize this opportunity to correct the impression in some sections of the public that the Commission received huge sums of money from development partners for the election,” he said.

Yakubu said it was the commission’s policy not to receive direct funding or cash transfers from sources other than the federal government.

According to him, the support received from international partners came in the form of technical advice, civic and voter education, organisation of meetings and capacity-building workshops, as well as the publication of documents.

“On the contrary, and for the avoidance of doubt, the Commission did not receive any direct funding or cash support from international development partners. Rather, their support was totally indirect through civil society organisations and implementing partners working on elections.

“Indeed, it has been a longstanding policy of the present Commission not to receive direct funding and cash transfers from sources other than the federal government of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, the INEC chairman stated that the commission received 538 requests for accreditation as observers (504 domestic and 34 foreign) in the run-up to the 2023 elections.

He however noted that just 228 election observation groups met the qualifications and were accredited by the commission.

Only 67 of the 228 groups have submitted their submissions to the commission. They include 62 domestic observer groups and five foreign observer groups, constituting only 30% of the election’s accredited groups.

“We urge all accredited observer groups that are yet to submit their reports to do so in earnest,” he said.

“For the 2023 General Election, the Commission received 538 requests (504 domestic and 34 foreign) for accreditation as observers. After a thorough evaluation of the requests, only 228 groups (190 domestic and 38 foreign) met the requirements for accreditation.”

Yakubu, therefore, appreciated the CSOs and development partners for their support during the 2023 elections.

According to the INEC chairman, the post-election review, which began three weeks ago, focuses on all aspects of the electoral activities before, during and after the polls through “introspection, stocktaking, review and evaluation,”

“This is one of the best ways to continue to improve the electoral process. As I said on several occasions, since we commenced the review meetings three weeks ago, the Commission welcomes diverse opinions about the election insofar as their purpose is to improve the future conduct of elections and to consolidate our democracy,” he said.

As part of the review, the commission has met with its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Electoral Officers, and transport union workers.

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