By Asmau Ahmad
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has urged Nigerians to conduct themselves peacefully before, during, and after the general elections.
It also urged Nigerians to guard against peddling fake news and inciting violence, especially via socially media.
The ECOWAS Commission’s advice is contained in a statement released on Friday.
The commission also urged flag-bearers of the political parties, the political parties, and their leaders to accept the eventual outcome of the polls as announced by the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“On the eve of the historic 2023 General elections, the commission of the Economic Community of West African States addresses this solidarity message to the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The ECOWAS Commission is acutely aware of the strategic importance of the February 25, 2023 presidential election to the region and the African continent at large.
“While noting the highly competitive and tense nature of the electoral campaigns, the commission commends the leaders of all the political parties and their followers for ensuring a relatively peaceful environment for the electoral process.
“It further commends them for subscribing to the first and second Peace Accords, facilitated by the National Peace Committee.
“The commission, however, notes the incidents of fake news, dis-information, misinformation, and incitement on social media.
“It urges the political parties and their leaders to caution their followers against any acts or pronouncements capable of endangering the peaceful conduct of the elections
“ECOWAS urges the electorate to conduct themselves with maturity and a sense of patriotism on E-Day.
“It further urges the security services to secure the environment for peaceful polls, while maintaining their neutrality. The ECOWAS Commission encourages the political parties and their leaders to accept the eventual outcome of the polls as will be announced by INEC.
“And urges any aggrieved parties to seek redress through laid down rules and regulations governing the electoral process,” the commission said.
It praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to ensuring peaceful and credible elections, which he pledges to leave as his legacies.
“The ECOWAS Commission commends Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for his unrelenting efforts at ensuring smooth, free, fair, transparent, and credible elections.
“The ECOWAS Commission notes the commendable work so far accomplished by INEC, to prepare the electoral machinery for a hitch- free conduct of the polls,” the commission stated.