ECOWAS Urges Buhari, Atiku To Accept Results

ECOWAS Urges Buhari, Atiku To Accept Results

ECOWAS Urges Buhari, Atiku To Accept Results

The Head of ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Nigeria, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has urged the leading presidential candidates to accept the verdict of the poll in good faith.

She also advised anyone who felt aggrieved to seek redress through legal means in the spirit of the commitment made in the February 13, peace accord.

Sirleaf, who presented ‘Nigeria 2019 Election ECOWAS Preliminary Declaration’ at the commission’s headquarters’ Conference Hall in Abuja, called on INEC and other stakeholders to approach the final phases of the process with fairness and transparency.

She also urged INEC to take steps to address the many shortcomings, including deficiency in operational capacity and systems that were observed during the elections.

The mission further appealed to party leaders, candidates, their supporters and the press to show tolerance and restraint leading to announcement of the results.

She said, “In the light of the stated observations, the ECOWAS Observation Mission has reached the following preliminary conclusions pending the collation and declaration of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The ECOWAS Observation Mission considers the electoral process was largely peaceful and transparent as voters were able to cast their votes freely.

“The mission commends the general public and the voters for their patience and determination to exercise their civic responsibility.

“The commission commends INEC and the security agencies for their dedication and professionalism and appreciates the efforts of political parties for their commitment and their demonstration of maturity during the process.

“The mission also congratulates civil societies, the media, domestic and international observers’ groups for their contribution and strong commitment to the strengthening of the democratic process in Nigeria.

“Finally, the mission congratulates the voters and the great and good people of Nigeria for their patriotism, tolerance, and sense of duty which contributed to maintaining peace and stability in spite of the many challenges.”

She said despite widespread delay, the voting process went smoothly but was disrupted by the malfunctioning smart card readers which forced some polling officials to resort to manual accreditation due to agitation.

The former president of Liberia, who said it took INEC a long time to respond to the public on the challenges that arose during the polls, stated that voters generally comported themselves and exhibited amazing patience and tolerance contributing to peaceful conduct of the day.

She said there was also disruption due to the outbreak of violence in some places which resulted in the loss of lives and election materials.

“Social media platforms were also used by political parties to market their candidates and programmes to young voters. However, some of these platforms were used to misinform the public and propagate hate speeches,” she also said.

President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, in a vote of thanks, expressed gratitude to the observers for their decision to extend their stay by one week after the postponement and appreciated regional and international organisations that sent delegations.

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