Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has said the continuous sharing of experience with Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) from other countries will strengthen the electoral process and deepen democracy.
He made the assertion when he received the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Zenner at the INEC Headquarters, Abuja, on Friday last week.
Professor Yakubu expressed delight that INEC had in the past enjoyed a happy working relationship with the German Embassy and German organizations helping with good governance and democratization in Nigeria.
The INEC Chairman said: “We will continue to share experiences with you not only in terms of experiences that you have garnered in running your own shining example of a democracy but also the experiences of helping hand that you have extended to other nations around the world.”
He assured that the existing cordial relationship between the Embassy and INEC in the past especially under his immediate predecessor, Professor Attahiru Jega would be consolidated. “I am happy to note that you had a very good working relationship with my immediate predecessor and I want to assure you that they shall continue. There will be no change in our relationship,” he said.
The INEC Chairman assured the International Community and Nigerians that the Commission was committed to upholding the tenets of free, fair and credible elections.
Ambassador Michael Zenner in his remarks pointed out that both Germany and Nigeria shared common experiences. “It is very logical because we are both federal states, that means we have similar structures; we see similar challenges and the work of Electoral Commissions as yours is of utmost importance”.
He expressed readiness on the part of his country to further strengthen the existing ties. He said: “I’m happy that we can continue our close cooperation and I think it is very worthwhile to exchange our experiences, and that we continue to as well hold meetings to see how we can cooperate. I think that we should also define fields of cooperation where we can move forward and learn from each other”.