Election observers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) urged candidates in Nigeria’s election on Monday to respect the outcome of the polls.
Sierra Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma, who heads the observers, called on the candidates to accept the final announcement of the Feb. 25 elections
“We urge the candidates in the presidential election to respect the outcome of the election” as announced by the electoral authorities, he told a press briefing in the capital Abuja.
Koroma advised candidates who may have disagreements with the results to approach the courts. He asked politicians and political parties to refrain from making inflammatory comments or taking actions that could obstruct the country’s electoral process and transition.
He described Nigeria as the powerhouse of the African region.
International election observers’ groups which include a Commonwealth team led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki and ex-Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta observed some lapses in the election through their preliminary report.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also asked outgoing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to leave the legacy of a credible election as he winds up his second term on May 29.
Results from 11 states released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the National Collation Center on Monday show the ruling All Progressives Party (APC) leading.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) have been calling for the cancellation of last weekend’s polls, citing reported cases of violence, snatching of ballots and the late arrival of voting materials.
“We have lost confidence in INEC because it failed to keep its promise to conduct free and fair elections. As such, we call for the total cancellation of the election and the conducting of a fresh one,” Labour Party spokesman Akin Osuntokun said at a press briefing.
Over 83 million Nigerians went to the polls on Saturday to elect a new president and members of parliament.
The presidential contest has been narrowed down to three leading candidates: the APC’s Bola Timubu, 70, the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, 76, and the LP’s Peter Obi, 61.
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