By Asmau Ahmad
The Heads Election Observation Missions of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Africa Union (AU) have reaffirmed commitment to supporting Nigeria achieve meaningful growth.
Both missions made this known on Thursday in a joint statement by Mr Ernest Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone, and Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, former President of Kenya, the observation team leaders.
The statement is against backdrop of the post-electoral phase of the February 25, 2023, general election held in Nigeria.
“We further call on political parties and their candidates to settle electoral disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, in accordance with the law.
“We remain confident in the strong commitment of the Nigerian government and her people to peace, stability and development.
“We reaffirm our commitment to accompany the country in advancing these important goals.”
They underscored the need for caution over the just concluded poll as means to foster peace in the country.
“As we follow the progressive collation and release of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we wish to remind all stakeholders that electoral process is still ongoing.
“While we recognise that the results at all levels is a critical part of the process, we urge INEC to expedite the transparent release of results to the public, to ease anxiety and tension.
“We call on all political parties and their candidates to appeal to their supporters to exercise restraint and refrain from use of provocative language and the dissemination of misinformation and dis-information.
“This will only exacerbate political tensions, divisiveness and violence at this critical stage, with the potential to undermine the progressive democratic progress Nigeria has continuously made over the years.
“We exhort the electorate to maintain the patience demonstrated in the electoral process and await the official release of the results of the polls.”
The two former presidents urged security agencies to professionally discharge their duties with utmost respect for the rule of law.
They also advised political parties and their candidates to settle electoral disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, in accordance with the law.