The United States (US) government has called on Nigerians to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as it finalises electoral preparations this week.
The United Kingdom (UK) government has also urged Nigerians to be patient and support the democratic process following the postponement of the general elections by INEC.
According to a statement by the US government through its embassy in Abuja, the US is in total support of the statement released by ECOWAS and other international observers concerning the postponement of the elections.
The statement reads in part, “The U.S. Embassy fully supports the joint statement by the heads of the ECOWAS and other international election observation missions on the postponement of the February 16 Nigerian elections.
“We join in encouraging all Nigerians to ensure a free, fair, peaceful, and credible election by supporting the INEC while it finalises electoral preparations this week and by voting in peace together on February 23.”
On its part, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, in a statement yesterday, said Britain recognised the frustrations of Nigerians and urged them to vote on the re-scheduled dates.
She said, “The British High Commission supports the joint statement made by the heads of the international observer missions on the postponement of the 2019 Nigerian elections.
“We recognise the frustrations of many Nigerians, including those involved in the delivery, supervision and observation of the election and those who travelled considerable distances to exercise their democratic right to vote.
“We urge the Nigerian people to come out to vote next weekend in the re-scheduled elections.”
Laing also urged political parties to exercise moderation and to preserve an atmosphere of peace and calm to allow elections to take place in a secure environment.
She also reiterated the High Commission’s continued support to Nigeria’s democracy and for the 2019 elections “including through redeploying our observer team to be present next weekend”.
Election Observation Missions of the European Union (EU), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and others have thrown their weight behind INEC, calling on Nigerians to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as the commission works to implement its new timelines.
The international observer missions made this call while responding to the one-week postponement of Nigeria’s general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In joint statement yesterday, they urged 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.
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.
The statement reads, “We, the Heads of the international election observation missions and the UN present in Nigeria, have taken note of the decision of 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 Nigerians to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as INEC works to implement its new timeline.
“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.”
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