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International observers urge INEC to adhere to new election dates

The Heads of international election observation missions and the United Nations have urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to adhere strictly to the new election dates.

The groups, in a joint statement, said though the decision to shift the election dates had caused disappointment for many, Nigerians should continue to remain calm and supportive of INEC.

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They also urged the electoral body to use extension to finalise all preparations for the elections.

The statement said: “We, the Heads of the international election observation missions and the United Nations present in Nigeria, have taken note of the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to postpone the 2019 general elections due to logistical and operational challenges.

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“While we note that this decision has caused disappointment for many, we call on all Nigerians to continue to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as INEC works to implement its new timeline.

“We urge INEC to use this time to finalise all preparations and ensure that the new election dates are strictly adhered to.

“We encourage INEC to provide regular updates and information to the public on its preparations in the coming days and weeks to enhance confidence and trust in the process.

“As we continue to closely observe preparations across the country, we stand in solidarity with the people of Nigeria in their desire for credible and peaceful elections.”

The statement was signed by:

1. Economic Community of West African States Election Observation Mission – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia

2. African Union Election Observation Mission – Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia

3. Commonwealth Observer Group – Dr Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania

4. Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Election Observation Mission – Rupiah Banda, Former President of Zambia

5. European Union Election Observation Mission – Maria Arena, Belgian Member of the European Parliament

6. National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Mission – Festus Mogae, Former President of Botswana and Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Former President of Latvia

7. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Ambassador Boubakar Adamou, Director of African Political Affairs

8. United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas

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