Ahead of the 2019 general election, the United Nations (UN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is to put in place a national peace architecture that will ensure the polls are devoid of violence.
Head of UN Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambers, who made this known in an interview monitored on Channels Television in Abuja at the weekend, said the move would go a long way in supporting the efforts of INEC in ensuring credible election.
“First and foremost, we need to put in place national peace architecture. I mean like the 2015 National Peace Committee which was led by General Abdulsalam Abubakar, with other prominent members like the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal Onaiyekan and others.
“We are in fact working to revive this committee and see how it can be strengthened. The dialogue, inter-party dialogue should commence even now.”
Chambers, who is also the Special Representative of UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and former Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) executive secretary, lauded INEC boss, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for his un-relented efforts towards ensuring that the 2019 election is more successful than what was recorded in 2015.
“You do have in Nigeria, an election body that has a good capacity. It was demonstrated in 2015 to the admiration of all of us. So we are confident that in 2019, the current INEC leadership will deliver better results than we saw in 2015 and consolidate on its gains.
“I can assure you that, from what we have seen so far, we are very, very, confident that Prof Mahmood Yakubu and his team are on track. This confidence that the UN is expressing in INEC is shared in the region where INEC has been there on the ground in some countries,” Chambers said.
While restating UN’s commitment to always ensure transparency in electoral processes, Chambers said the organisation was engaging INEC on areas that might need its intervention.
“We are very pleased with the discussions we have had with INEC. The UN has regular engagements with INEC. We are even working with INEC for the UN to field what we call a needs assessment mission. Once this is done, within weeks, then we will have a good understand of which areas INEC will need international support,” Chambers said.
Speaking further, the UN representative predicted that the 2019 election in Nigeria would be violence-free as a result of the various efforts being put in place to ensure its success. ( Leadership)