INEC Seeks Greater UNDP Cooperation

The Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Amina Bala Zakari, has requested greater support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ahead of the Kogi and Bayelsa Governorship elections scheduled for Saturday, 21 November and Saturday, 5 December, 2015. She made the request at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja when the UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Opia Mensah Kumah paid a courtesy call to the Commission.

Represented by National Commissioner, Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, the Acting Chairman commended the long standing relationship and support of the UNDP especially through the Democratic Governance Development (DGD II Project). He said: 'The UNDP has been a traditional ally to Nigeria in terms of development, in particular INEC. We have been having it good with you and we appreciate it all'. Briefing the Commission’s visitor on INEC’s preparations for the forthcoming Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections, the Acting Chairman used the opportunity to request strengthened cooperation to achieve greater heights in the electoral process.

Mr Opia Mensah Kumah congratulated the Commission on the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections. He said, 'I am overwhelmed positively by the conduct and outcome of the last elections. Elections everywhere are complex operations, and in a country of over 160 million people the task must be complicated'.

He explained that his mission to the Commission was to express appreciation to the Commission for the support given UNDP and other collaborators especially in implementing the DGD II project. 'Without your leadership, your hand holding and your guidance, would not have worked', he said. He further stated that he came to hear the Commission’s assessment of the existing relationship between both organizations, stressing that it would allow the UNDP learn lessons and improve its support moving forward.

'You are a critical institution in the emerging democracy of this country and UNDP and its partners are willing and keen to partner with you for tracing a future path for Nigeria', he said.