ECOWAS, EU, US Urge INEC To Adhere Strictly To New Date

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), European Union (EU), United States of America, among other foreign election observers, have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission to adhere strictly to the new date announced for elections.

They also appealed to Nigerians to support INEC, despite the outrage over the sudden postponement of the elections by one week.

A statement issued on Saturday by the US Embassy, noted that it fully supported the position on the joint statement by international election observers on the postponement of the elections.

The said statement was jointly signed by the leader of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission, former President of Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf, African Union Election Observation Mission leader, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and Commonwealth Observer Group leader, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete.

Others include the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Election Observation Mission leader, former President of Zambia, Rupiah Banda; European Union Election Observation Mission Chief observer, and Belgian Member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena; National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Mission co-Chairmen, former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and ex-President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.

Others are the Director of African Political Affairs Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Amb. Boubakar Adamou and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The statement by the US Embassy read: “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 Independent National Electoral Commission while it finalizes electoral preparations this week and by voting in peace together on February 23.”

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