Several local observers that participated at the Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections have urged those who lost out to accept the outcome of the exercises.
One of their targets is the presidential candidate of the People Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Addressing a news conference Wednesday in Abuja, spokesman for the groups of observers, Tunde Bafunsho of the Organization of Justice for Equity Sustenance (OJES) rate the conduct of the elections 80 percent credible.
According to him, the winners must be magnanimous in victory while losers must also accept defeat with dignity so that at the end of the day, Nigeria and Nigerians will become the beneficiary.
“We wish to commend the electoral management body, INEC for their immeasurable contributions to the success recorded during the just concluded presidential and National Assembly Election.
“Conducting elections anywhere is never an easy task, requiring the collective input of all stakehoIders including political parties, security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as the entire Citizenry. It is our considered view that the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly elections originally slated for the l6 of February and 21 of March 2019 respectively, evidently helped in putting certain measures in place that culminated to the success recorded eventually on the 23 of February rescheduled presidential exercise”, he said.
While observing that the postponement of the elections as earlier scheduled by the INEC later turned out to be a blessing.
Bafunsho declared that the processes leading to the election were far better than what the country had in the past.
“We wish to place on record that both sensitive and non-sensitive materials for last Saturday’s elections arrived their various destinations on schedule and adequate for the conduct of both elections with an overwhelming and unprecedented turnout including the massive participation of women.
“Majority of the voters, media, party agents, observers, security agents and poll officials witnessed the sorting of ballots, counting and recording of result sheets signed by all concerned stakeholders and collation of result at the various collection centers, especially local government and State collection centers.
“There was separation of Presidential/ National Assembly collation centers where presiding officers conducted their activities professionally and transparently.”
The accredited observers also stressed that all stakeholders that participated in the 2019 Presidential and NASS Elections, performed their roles towards the sustenance of a credible, peaceful, transparent electoral process and democracy in Nigeria.
“INEC having performed satisfactorily in the conduct and monitoring of the exercise, they should strive to sustain such noble attainment during the upcoming Governorship and State Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, 9th March, 2019 and all other future elections.
“Democracy has often been defined as government of the people, for the people, and by the people, in order words, the essence of democracy and the rule of law is to further advance the good and betterment of any given society and ensure that the Citizenry enjoy unimpeded access to goods and services as may be provided by those elected to preside over their affairs. The power to freely choose leaders of their own must therefore be entirely that of the electorate to make as exemplified by the smooth conduct of last Saturday’s elections.”