Osun State, Nigeria – An international pre-election assessment mission arrived in Osun State today to watch the voting process for the state’s gubernatorial elections on September 22, 2018. This is the second mission jointly led by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) to evaluate Nigeria’s preparations for the 2019 general elections. The high-level delegation arrived in Nigeria on September 19 and will present its findings at a press conference in Abuja on September 28, 2018.
The delegation will meet with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), ruling and opposition political parties, opinion leaders, citizen observer groups, and civil society organizations in Osun State and Abuja.
The delegation includes the following members:
- Robert Benjamin, Senior Associate & Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe, NDI (USA);
- Mvemba Dizolele (lead delegate), Professorial Lecturer at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (Democratic Republic of the Congo);
- Sarah Jegede-Toe, Co-Chair, Liberia National Elections Commission (Liberia);
- Anna Jones, National Network Coordinator, WANEP-The Gambia (The Gambia); and
- John Tomaszewski, Africa Director, IRI (USA).
“The purpose of the delegation’s trip to Nigeria is to assess the pre-election environment in Nigeria,” said Dizolele. “The Osun gubernatorial election will provide valuable insights into the reforms pursued by INEC since 2015 and what is being done at a more localized level to ensure free and fair elections occur next year.”
The first joint pre-election assessment to Nigeria—conducted in July 2018 to correspond with the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State—issued a statement providing recommendations on how to improve the prospects for free, fair and credible elections in 2019. IRI and NDI will jointly deploy international observers for national elections scheduled to take place in February and March 2019.
IRI and NDI have organized more than 200 international election observation missions around the globe, earning a reputation for impartiality and professionalism. The joint IRI-NDI mission to Nigeria will conduct its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted by the United Nations in 2005, and will base its findings and recommendations on Nigerian laws and international standards for elections. All activities will be conducted on a strictly nonpartisan basis and without interfering in the election process.
A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the International Republican Institute (IRI) advances freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more responsive, strengthening transparent and accountable governance, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth. Since 1983, IRI has monitored 205 elections in 57 countries through international observation missions and assessments. More information is available at www.iri.org.
The National Democratic Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Over the past 35 years, NDI has conducted more than 150 election observation missions in 62 countries.