Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has welcomed experience sharing with the Bangladesh National Defense College on elections security. He said both countries shared similar experiences in a lot of ways and the lessons shared would help the Commission learn more on managing elections in a large democracy.
Professor Yakubu welcomed the development today (Wednesday 24th August, 2016), when a twenty-two (22) man delegation led by Rear Admiral M. Answarul Islam from the Bangladesh National Defense College visited the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja, on a study tour.
The INEC Chairman expressed delight that the delegation (Course 2016), made up of high ranking military officers from Bangladesh and other countries chose the Commission as one of the organizations to visit while in Nigeria. He said: “The fact that you have chosen the Independent National Electoral Commission as one of the organizations to visit is a further affirmation of the good work that the Commission has done and the good work that the Commission has continued to do”.
Professor Yakubu observed that Bangladesh like Nigeria was a democracy and the military for a very long time had supported democratic institutions in both countries. He added: “Bangladesh is a developing country just like Nigeria in conducting elections; you have all the challenges that we grapple with from the voter register to logistics to all the challenges that developing countries face.”
He disclosed that the leadership of the Commission and the delegation would further discuss and share experiences on how to manage elections in large democracies especially on election security. Said he: “we want to know how Bangladesh has been able to grapple with the issue of elections security in the conduct of elections and to the aftermath of elections and if there are other issues that you will like to discuss with this Commission, we will be most glad to share with you”.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Rear Admiral M. Answarul Islam, had commended the Commission for the successes recorded in the 2015 general elections. He said: “I think that it has set a standard among not only African countries, but also all the developing countries and maybe the developed countries, even on how to conduct elections in an utmost free and fair environment.”
He explained that the purpose of their visit was to tap from the Commission’s wealth of experience in the conduct of elections.
Rear Admiral Islam noted that an independent, credible Electoral Commission was the symbol of democracy and a symbol of good governance in a system to where things are going in the right direction. “That is why we always visit Independent Electoral Commissions of any country we visit to learn how they undertake this challenging job,” he said.
Mrs Shahin Islam, a Joint Secretary in the Bangladesh Civil Service Commission, thanked the Commission for making the visit possible.