UN, AU, ECOWAS urge calm until INEC releases full results
‘Weak parties, defections major challenge to nation’s democracy’
The United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have urged Nigerians to remain calm until the final results of the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections are announced.
Their call followed delays in the announcement of the final results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). “The attention of ECOWAS, AU and the UN have been drawn to the rejection of results of the February 23, 2019 polls by one of the political parties, even as they are still in the process of being released.
“ECOWAS, AU and the UN call on all candidates, political parties and indeed all Nigerians to continue to exercise patience, calm and restraint, in order to allow for the full results of the election to be released by INEC,” they said in a statement issued yesterday.
The international and regional organisations advised that at the conclusion of the process, all aggrieved parties and persons are encouraged to resort to legal means to seek redress, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of Nigeria, and as previously agreed in the Peace Accord of February 13, 2019.
Meanwhile, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) have said weak internal democracy within political parties was a major challenge to Nigeria’s democracy.The international observers stressed that political parties, were the weakest link among the country’s democratic institutions.
The analysis also observed lack of ideological differences among political parties to favor defections with party elites regularly switching parties to secure nomination for elected offices. The institutes explained that in the 2019, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fielded only 24 and 31 women candidates, respectively.
They further explained that the National Assembly’s 469 seats have only 13 and eight legislative candidates under the age of 35, adding that most women and youth candidates ran on the tickets of newly created parties, with unfavorable odds of winning.