Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) has expressed gratitude to Nigeria and paid tribute to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Nigeria, for supporting electoral processes and the consolidation of democracy in Liberia.
Speaking at the dedication of an Information and Technology (IT) Workspace for NEC staff in Monrovia, officiated by Prof. Yakubu at the weekend, NEC Chairperson, Madam Davidetta Browne-Lansanah acknowledged the critical technical support provided by Nigeria to NEC Liberia, facilitated by INEC and Prof. Yakubu, including for the establishment of the IT Workspace.
She expressed NEC Liberia’s profound gratitude for “the indispensable contributions made by Prof. Yakubu and INEC Nigeria in sustaining Liberia’s democratic journey.”
The NEC Chairperson recalled Prof. Yakubu’s role as President of the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) 2017-2019, which resulted in the repositioning of the Network, and his advocacy for resource-sharing among regional Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs).
She recalled that INEC dispatched technical experts to assist NEC with critical preparations for Liberia’s Presidential election in 2017, the 2020 Constitutional Referendum and the implementation of biometric registration ahead of the successful October/November 2023 Elections.
The ECOWAS Commission, UNDP, and Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo also played key roles in support of NEC Liberia, during his tour as Special Representative of the ECOWAS Commission’s President in Liberia.
Nigeria has also provided election logistics and technical assistance on request to other ECOWAS EMBs such as Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau, facilitated by INEC.
Madam Browne-Lansanah, who has served as ECONEC First Vice-President thanked Prof Yakubu for his steadfast support of NEC-Liberia in various regional endeavours.
In his response, Prof. Yakubu expressed his heartfelt appreciation to NEC-Liberia for acknowledging INEC Nigeria’s contributions and honouring him with the dedication of the IT Workspace.
He emphasized the value of sharing resources, information, and experiences, toward enhancing the operational capabilities of EMBs with IT facilities.
Prof Yakubu emphasized the significance of inter-EMB collaboration in addressing the complexity of election management and called for prioritizing of peer support given the limited resources and escalating election costs.
Dignitaries that graced the dedication ceremony included the UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia, Christine N. Umutoni; Charge d’ Affaires of the Nigerian Embassy in Liberia, Mr Manir Ibrahim; a Representative of the Liberian Bar Association, Co-Chairperson, NEC Board of Commissioners, senior government officials, and staff of NEC Liberia.