United Kingdom International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has promised that the country would continue to work with Nigeria through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the 2019 general elections are successful.
The minister made the remarks during a meeting with the Chairman of INEC, Mahmoud Yakubu in Abuja at the weekend.
The minister urged the electoral umpire to remain firm and dispassionate in the discharge of its crucial assignment given the importance of Nigeria to Africa and the international community.
Mordaunt said, “Nigeria is Africa’s biggest, and one of its most vibrant democracies. It has made huge progress in recent years ensuring credible, free, fair and peaceful elections. It is vital to Nigeria, her people and to the confidence of the international community that this continues as the country heads towards elections in 2019.
“We are proud of our unwavering support to INEC and civil society, which has ensured that they have been able to make important improvements to the election process.
“We strongly support INEC to carry out its constitutional role, free from political pressure and intimidation, and encourage it to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality in its application of the electoral laws, to build voter trust and confidence. It’s a tough job, but I commend INEC for their efforts to deliver truly free, fair, credible and peaceful elections, that Nigerians can be proud of.
“During this visit, I had the opportunity to meet with civil society groups and hear about their efforts to ensure that women, persons with disabilities and young people are able to embrace politics, and to feel that have a voice and a choice.“