“We are doing a lot about inclusiveness for women, youths and people living with disabilities in terms of access to the polling units and participation in the elections.”
Yakubu said that this particular step is very necessary especially at this time when the 2019 elections are being planned for. He recalled that it was exactly two years ago since the EU sent delegations to observe the 2015 elections in Nigeria.
He said that the current mission was important and critical as it came at a time when the commission was preparing for the 2019 general elections.
Yakubu also laid emphasis for dates of upcoming elections as stated earlier by INEC. He again said the commission had fixed Feb.16, 2019 for Presidential and National Assembly elections, and March 2 for Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections.
He added that the elections are not far anymore as it is only 484 days away from the Presidential elections.
Yakubu said that although the 2015 general elections received global recognition for its credibility and for meeting international best practice, he is committed to making the 2019 elections better.
The chairman said, ” INEC had so far conducted elections in 172 constituencies since the 2015 elections and that eight of the 30 recommendations of the EU team in 2015 had been implemented.”
He said that “the remaining 22 recommendations were at various stages at the relevant agencies, including the National Assembly, responsible for the implementation.”
The leader of the delegation of the Eu, Mr Santiago Ayxela, said that although the parliament does not have the right to force anything on the country, they have still come to make their recommendations to the commission to ensure a hitch-free election.
Ayxela further explained that although some of the recommendations were for the commission, he also had things to say to the National Assembly as well as Political Parties.
Meanwhile, the technical team of the EU will stay with the commission until November to support and observe the election preparation process.
Later at the National Headquarters of People’s Democratic Party, Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Maikarfi, “commended the EU Parliament for supporting democracy in Nigeria.”
Makarfi urged the parliament not to relent in their support of the country for sustained democracy and good governance in the country.