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Nigeria's electoral commission chairman assures safety at the polls

A police officer search a vehicle ahead of the February 25 presidential election at Awka in Anambra State, southeast Nigeria, on February 16, 2023.   -  
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With days to go before Nigerians heads to the polls, the chairman of Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu organised a briefing. Nigeria's elections have been marked by violence, ethnic tensions, vote-buying and clashes between supporters of rival parties.

He gave assurances on safety over the facilities, staff, voters, observers, and the media during the election,"

"In the build up to the general election, several of our facilities were attacked by unknown assailants in various parts of the country. I am pleased that we have fully recovered from these attacks. We have been further assured that our facilities, staff, voters, observers, the media and citizens will be safe during the election."

He added that the voter population is more than the total number of registered voters in all the other countries in the West Africa region put together, explaining the complexity of the operation.

SOUNDBITE 2 - Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of INEC (male, English, 28 sec):

"The voter population of 93,469,008 voters is more than the total number of registered voters in all the other countries in the West Africa region put together. So each time we go to the polls, it's like conducting elections for the whole of West Africa and a substantial part of Central Africa."

Thursday was the final day of campaigning for the presidential, senate and parliamentary elections.

More than 93 million Nigerians are registered to vote on Saturday in what has developed into a tense, competitive race among three presidential frontrunners for the first time since military rule ended in 1999.

US, European and other governments on Thursday urged Nigeria to ensure a peaceful presidential election this weekend as skirmishes broke out in a key city on the last day of campaigning.

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