The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of civil society organisations, on Wednesday congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), in the early hours of Wednesday declared Buhari winner of the Feb. 23, Presidential election.
Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener, Situation Room in the group’s fifth interim statement, also congratulated all the other candidates in this election and commended Nigerians for turning out and casting their votes.
Nwankwo said that the group acknowledged that there were candidates, political parties and indeed citizens, who were aggrieved with the processes and outcome of the elections.
He said that Nigeria’s constitution and legal frameworks provided avenues to seek redress.
He also said that the Situation Room closely followed and observed the electoral process from the beginning to this moment.
“We had issued a Threshold Document clearly stating the standard to which we will hold this election.
“We note that a lot of the expectations in the Threshold Document were not met.
“We believe that there are sufficient reasons to demand an urgent convening of stakeholders, to examine the lessons from these elections, identify evident shortcomings and lapses.
“This is with the view to enshrine much needed reform of our electoral system, while also reiterating our call for effective mechanism of accountability for electoral offences.’’
Nwankwo said that the group acknowledged the efforts of INEC to conduct this election.
He, however, emphasised that there were lapses in the election that did not need to happen and INEC would need to immediately work on correcting those lapses ahead of the March 9, state- level elections.
He said that the group demanded that INEC provide clarification on rationale and compliance with its guidelines regarding cancellation of polls.
He said that accusation that those cancellations may have been contrived to suppress votes needed to be taken seriously and addressed.
Nwankwo called on INEC to address the discrepancies in the vote tally and provide cogent explanations for the rejected votes and clearly clarify what amounted to cancelled votes.
He said that the group urged Nigerians to be peaceful and law abiding.
He also called on aggrieved political parties and candidates on the electoral process to ensure that they utilise legally recognised channels to seek redress.
“Situation Room calls on all Nigerians to prepare peacefully and come out and vote on March 9, for the candidates of their choice,” Nwankwo said.
The CSO Situation Room was set up by a coalition of not less than 70 civil society groups, which includes The Centre for Democracy and Development, ActionAid and Cleen Foundation.