Foreign observers hail INEC for peaceful polls

Foreign observers, under the aegis of International Police Chaplain Sustainable Development and Law Enforcement from the United States of America (U.S.A), have praised Nigerians and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the peaceful conduct of last Saturday’s governorship and houses of Assembly elections, particularly in Lagos State.

They also hailed domestic and foreign observers, civil society organisations (CSOs), political parties, and other stakeholders, who showed the spirit of democracy and patriotism to make last Saturday’s polls a success.

Head of the Police Chaplains Electoral Observation Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador Johaness Makouvia, from Togo, gave the commendation while addressing reporters yesterday in Ikeja, Lagos State.

International Police Chaplain Sustainable Development and Law Enforcement is one of the foreign observers accredited by the INEC to observe the just-concluded general election across the country.

Makouvia urged Nigerians, the Federal Government, political actors, and other stakeholders to continue to promote peace and stability to consolidate democracy and rule of law in the country.

“The IPCSL Mission reminds all sons and daughters of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that they remain the main actors in the development of their country and, therefore, have an imperative to be natives of peace in all the states of their nation.

“The IPCSL Mission commends the Nigerian people, the central government, political actors, and all stakeholders in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It urges them to continue to preserve the peace and stability to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, especially in a challenging socio-political context,” he said.

Also, a pro-democracy think-thank, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recorded improved performance in its handling of the March 18 governorship and Houses of Assembly elections nationwide.

The CDD noted that the improvement that INEC recorded was overshadowed by the high rate of violence and other criminal conducts which characterised the exercise.

The group, which said it deployed 1,200 observers to monitor the exercise nationwide, added that interim report by its Election Analysis Centre (EAC) revealed that violence, voter intimidation, vote-buying, disinformation, among others, were witnessed across the country.

Describing the election process as free and fair in Lagos, Ambassador Makouvia faulted the tribal sentiments and pockets of violence recorded in some parts of the state and some polling units the Mission Observers visited across the country.

The ambassador called for peaceful coexistence among all Nigerians.

He implored all aggrieved political parties to seek redress in court rather than foment trouble or organise street protests.

Makouvia, who urged INEC to continue to interact with political parties and CSOs to strengthen the national fabric as well as collaboration among various international missions, recommended increased voter and civic education for the sustenance of national peace.

The mission deployed 182 observers from 13 countries, including the United States, Denmark, Pakistan, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana and Niger Republic, to 2,117 polling units across Nigeria during this year’s general election.


<<The Nation>>