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The undersigned parties commend the millions of Nigerian citizens that went out and voted in the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria.  Their determination and courage should be an inspiration to all.  Measured against the backdrop of pre-election predictions of widespread violence and agitations, the election, so far, has seen relative minimal violence.  Polling and collation has however not been entirely free from various forms of electoral irregularities; but generally, the elections have largely taken place peacefully and orderly.    

The relative peaceful voting process has not voided the occurrence of some electoral malpractices that continues to plague the Nigerian election cycles.  

Citizens, observers, and some political parties (Labour/PDP) have expressed strong concerns over specific cases of electoral irregularities, fuelling speculation and narratives of manipulation. Accusations of intentional delays, falsifying results, and inadequate use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) have gathered momentum online and amongst citizens. 

There is an increasing body of trending media materials on the internet depicting violent attacks that supposedly took place during the elections. There is also a growing body of allegations of collusion between INEC officials, the security forces and certain party officials to subvert the elections.  Slow action, inaction or delays by INEC only gives further oxygen to these allegations. 

We, the signatories wish to remind the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that it is of utmost importance that elections are credible, and it is also crucial for the elections to be seen as fair, free, and transparent by the Nigerian electorate. Unnecessary delays in releasing results only give rooms for speculative announcements of fake results by paid partisan propagandists.  This will only lead to doubts of the eventual INEC authenticated results.  We call on INEC not to give opportunity for fake news to thrive because of inaction or delays.

Election 2023 is without doubts Nigeria’s most significant elections; it offers the nation a great opportunity to reset itself on a new course of peace, social justice and prosperity.  INEC and all those in positions to make consequential decisions must do everything not to jeopardize this critical opportunity, out of which the country must re-emerge as a united nation on a new path of progress. 

We call on the INEC, and the government of Nigeria – to commence a full investigation of any legitimate accusations of wrongdoing immediately. And where allegations are proven to be correct, we insist that those responsible be brought to book and be held to account, no matter whose ox is gored.  We also call on the International community and principally the UK Government to stand with Nigeria and the Nigerian people to help protect its democracy for the benefit of all.  The elections have been years in the planning and are thought to have cost over $662 million, including the provision of some funds and technical advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO). 

Everything must be done to preserve the integrity of this election and prevent prospects of a wave of violence that the nation has so far managed to avoid.




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