By Teslim Olawore
President Muhammadu Buhari says he is impressed with the arrangements by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the general elections and is confident the commission will deliver a credible poll.
Buhari said this on Tuesday while receiving the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) which arrived Nigeria on Monday to monitor the elections.
According to a statement released by a presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday, Mr Buhari assured the observers that INEC will deliver on its mandate of a credible poll.
Receiving the EOM, led by the chief observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, at the State House, the president said he had listened earlier in the day to the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.
“I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day,” Buhari said.
He told the EU delegation that Nigeria has grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better year after year.
“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections,” he said.
Mr Buhari said Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”
He said the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government identified the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.
The president thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections and in the affairs of the nation generally.
The EOM team, accompanied by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head, European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.
The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.