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Accept polls outcome in good faith, U.S. institutes urge parties


Derek Mitchell

Catholic bishops seek peace envoy canvass respect for accord
United States (U.S.)-based institutes, National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI) yesterday urged parties and candidates to accept outcome of the general elections in good faith.

Presidents of the NDI and IRI, Derek Mitchell and Daniel Twining in a joint press conference in Abuja said political parties and candidates should consider the Abuja peace accord by respecting the wish of the electorate.

“With elections postponed in parts of three states, the tabulation and announcement of final results have not been completed.

“As the process continues, the mission calls on Nigerian political parties and candidates to corporate in good faith with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” they said.


The institutes also urged political parties to keep to the 2019 Abuja Accord and respect the will of the people, which they expressed through the ballot box and for INEC to release the official results on time

According to them, parties and candidates should channel complaints and disputes through established legal processes.

The observer group, while presenting its preliminary report on the just concluded elections, noted that the exercise was generally peaceful, adding, however, that there were reported cases of injuries and loss of lives, vote buying, disruptions and intimidation by party agents.

The groups said logistics challenges such as card readers failure, late arrival of electoral materials and lack of essential materials in some polling units were some of the challenges faced during the polls.

They commended security agencies for displaying professionalism in the discharge of their duties during the election, adding that electoral offenses must be investigated and sanctioned appropriately.

However, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has urged political actors and Nigerians to accept the outcome of the polls and remain peaceful before, during and after the declaration of results.

They, however, urged INEC to improve on the electoral process for the purpose of credible and transparent future elections in the country.

The CBCN stated this while briefing journalists on the observations of the CBCN Situation Room yesterday in Abuja.

Secretary General of the CBCN, Reverend Father Zacharia Nyantiso Samjumi, said CBCN set up a situation room, engaged 3, 823 accredited observers and 9,000 Citizen Observers from 55 dioceses across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to enhance data collection and collation during the elections.

Also, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), said there were disruptions of voting process through the abuse of the power of incumbency in most parts of the country during the elections.

Meanwhile, UNITED States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart W. Symington, has commended Nigerians for their resilience in ensuring that the presidential elections went peacefully.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, he said: I congratulate Nigerians who stood patiently in long lines to vote this week and those who worked together with INEC to conduct the elections.

As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, this election was predominantly peaceful, and it was proof of the Nigerian people’s resolute commitment to choose their leaders.

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