The heads of the Economic Country Of West African States (ECOWAS) and Africa Union (AU) Elections Observer Missions have issued a joint statement on the post-electoral phase of the Nigerian elections which took place on February 25, 2023. The statement was released on February 28, 2023, and signed by former president of Sierra Leone, H.E. Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and former president of Kenya H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta who are leaders of the ECOWAS and AU missions respectively, noted with concern, signs of increasing tensions in the country.
There have already been accusations of rigging as the electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) delays the announcement of the results, leading to political parties demanding a rerun of the elections. This was addressed in the mission’s press statement which called on the body to expedite the collation and tallying of the results, and its ultimate announcement “to ease anxieties and tensions.”
They also called on political parties and their candidates to appeal to their supporters to display maximum restraint and shy away from provocative messages and the spread of misinformation and disinformation which can only worsen existing tensions, further divide the country, and potentially reverse its recent democratic gains.
The electorates were also exhorted to maintain the patience so far displayed until the results are announced. Further, the joint statement called on the security to maintain professionalism in the discharge of their duties, respectful of the rule of law.
The statement ended by calling on political parties and their candidates to settle electoral disputes through peaceful means, and dialogue, citing their strong confidence in the commitment of the Nigerian government and her people to peace, and stability.
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