The United Nations (UN) has sued for calm and patience among Nigerians, as they head to the polls today to vote in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
On the eve of the elections, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, commended Nigerians “for a pre-election period that had been largely, peaceful and participatory.”
Chambas, who is also Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), encouraged all Nigerians to continue to maintain calm and to exercise patience and restraint throughout the voting process and the announcement of the final results.
While welcoming the February 13 signing of the Second National Peace Accord by the presidential candidates, Chambas urged them to “mobilise their sympathisers and supporters to adhere to the tenets of free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections, devoid of hate and denigration of each other.”
He called on all Nigerians to firmly reject all undemocratic and negative voices that may seek to disrupt the elections and promote conflict among them.
The UN special representative encouraged Nigerians to come out in their numbers and cast their vote peacefully in exercise of their civic responsibility, saying the success of the polls is the responsibility of all Nigerians and relevant Nigerian institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, political parties, candidates, religious leaders and civil society.
He urged all candidates and party leaders to seek redress of any grievances they may have through legal and constitutional means, and all stakeholders to prioritise the interest of the country, hoping that the successful conduct of peaceful, free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections would set another example for the elections coming up in West Africa and Africa, and underscore Nigeria’s leadership in the region.