By Andrew Onyejuruuwa
The Economic Community of West African States Election Observation Mission has called on the candidates who contested the presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria on Saturday February 23 to accept the results in good faith. The mission gave the advice in its preliminary report signed by its Head, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and made available to journalists on Monday.
The statement said, “In the spirit of the commitment made in the peace accord of February 13, 2019, the mission urges the candidates to accept the verdict of the polls in good faith, and in case of complaints, to seek redress by legal means solely.” It said the advice was one of the preliminary conclusions it reached pending the collation and declaration of final results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The body also called on the INEC and other stakeholders to approach the final phase of the process with fairness and transparency. The statement added, “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 public and the voters for their patience and determination to exercise their civic responsibility.
“The mission calls upon INEC and other stakeholders to approach the final phases of the process with fairness and transparency until the announcement of the final results. The mission urges INEC to take steps to address the many shortcomings, including operational capacity and systems that were observed all through the process. The mission appeals to party leaders, candidates, their supporters and the press, to show tolerance and restraint leading up to, and after, the announcement of the results.”