By Folasade Akpan
Election Observation Missions of the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and others have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to finalise all preparations and ensure that the new election dates are adhered to.
They said this in a joint statement signed by eight organisations and made available to the Naija Politico (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja, in light of the postponement of the general elections.
Other signatories to the statement are the election observation missions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Commonwealth Observer Group and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
Some others are the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute.
They also said that INEC should provide regular updates and information to the public on its preparations in the coming days and weeks to enhance confidence and trust in the process.
The observers also called on Nigerians to remain calm and support the electoral process.
Text of the Joint Statement
We, the Heads of the international election observation missions and the United Nations present in Nigeria, have taken note of the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the 2019 general elections due to logistical and operational challenges.
While we note that this decision has caused disappointment for many, we call on all Nigerians to continue to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as INEC works to implement its new timeline.
We urge INEC to use this time to finalise all preparations and ensure that the new election dates are strictly adhered to. We encourage INEC to provide regular updates and information to the public on its preparations in the coming days and weeks to enhance confidence and trust in the process.
As we continue to closely observe preparations across the country, we stand in solidarity with the people of Nigeria in their desire for credible and peaceful elections.
1. Economic Community of West African States Election Observation Mission – Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia
2. African Union Election Observation Mission – His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia
3. Commonwealth Observer Group – His Excellency Dr Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania
4. Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Election Observation Mission – His Excellency Rupiah Banda, Former President of Zambia
5. European Union Election Observation Mission – Maria Arena, Belgian Member of the European Parliament
6. National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Mission – His Excellency Festus Mogae, Former President of Botswana and Her Excellency Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia
7. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Ambassador Boubakar Adamou, Director of African Political Affairs
8. UnitedNationsSpecialRepresentativeoftheSecretary-GeneralforWestAfrica and the Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas