Reports of violence, intimidation by political parties unsettle EU, UK, U.S.
• Say who will win 2019 elections is a decision for Nigerians
The European Union (EU), United kingdom (UK) and the United States (USA) have expressed concern over recent reports of violence, intimidation and corruption, both within political parties and between parties in the country.
While congratulating Nigeria on its progress in sustaining democracy since 1999, including the first peaceful transition of power from a ruling party to an opposition, they urge all political parties to maintain Nigerian and international norms and support a credible process.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the countries noted that ‘Who will win the general elections in 2019 is a decision for the Nigerian people adding that their concern as partners of Nigeria is to see a process that is free, fair and inclusive. ‘’
They noted that it is the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to freely express their will now and in the forthcoming elections and encouraged Nigeria and its people to consolidate and deepen democracy as the country heads towards important elections next year. Also signatories to the statement were France, Germany, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Czech Republic.
Others are Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden. They urged the Federal Government and legislators to work with INEC to achieve further improvements at least six months before the elections, in line with the established ECOWAS protocol.
They said: “We are particularly keen to see greater participation in politics from under-represented groups, including women, young people and people with disabilities. We offer our strong support to the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC) and welcome the technical improvements they have introduced to the electoral process”.
According to them, “Democracy is not only about the voting process. It also requires a strong and ongoing commitment from political actors to uphold the democratic ideal.
“We join Nigerians today in celebrating the day on which democracy and civilian rule were restored. The struggle to achieve democracy gives it a special value and places responsibility on all of us to support the democratic process. In Nigeria, as in so many of our countries, the right for all citizens to enjoy equal participation in the democratic process was achieved after considerable struggle and suffering. We remember and celebrate all those who sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today,” they added.
No comments yet