The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern about the “massive obligations” that come with administering elections in Nigeria.
The electoral board also said that having elections in Nigeria was comparable to holding elections throughout the West African regions.
The INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated these when the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Dasuki Arabi, led a team from the BPSR on a courtesy visit to the INEC Headquarters in Abuja, according to a bulletin published by the commission on Saturday.
According to him, there were a very few agencies in Nigeria like INEC, considering the kind of extensive responsibilities being performed by the commission.
“This is the only agency in Nigeria that is saddled with the constitutional responsibility of doing so much for our elections and our democracy.
“We are doing more than managing elections; we are more or less managing our entire democracy.
“Some of the responsibilities that we perform are actually responsibilities that so many other agencies in other countries perform. But here we do everything.
“The size and complexities of the country provides the context of what we do. The number of registered voters in the other 14 countries in the West African sub-region put together is 11 million less than the number of registered voters in Nigeria. So, anytime we conduct elections, it is like conducting elections in the whole of West Africa.”
The INEC chairman expressed the commission’s preparedness to collaborate with other agencies, including the BPSR, to deepen democracy and improve the electoral process.
Speaking earlier, Arabi commended INEC for doing a lot in terms of electoral reforms, adding that the commission stood out among leading agencies in terms of reforms in the country.
Arabi said the BPSR had been monitoring what INEC had been doing.
“After the 2015 general elections, we produced a book that we called ‘Lessons of Nigerian Elections 1923-2015; but the attention and the emphasis was on 2015 elections where we saw something dramatic, where a sitting government lost election and peacefully handed over to a new government.
“We think it is important that we celebrate public servants, you and your colleagues and all of you that handle these elections that brought us to where we are.”