Transparency International’s partner in Nigeria commends the citizens of Nigeria and the role of the Independent National Election Commission in holding free and credible elections
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC congratulates citizens of Nigeria on peaceful conduct the Presidential election held on March 28, 2015. We note with tremendous admiration the steadfastness, determination, patience and orderliness with which they trouped out and lined up to exercise their rights to elect a leader of their choice in line with democratic expectations, an attitude that has restored the pride and dignity of Nigerian citizens and made us the toast of the international community
We note the apprehension that gripped the nation in the run off to the polls characterized by political campaigns that were not issued based but laden with divisive messages, hate speeches, mudslinging, shallow promises and an eventual shift in election dates, which generated suspicions and misgivings. We therefore celebrate with Nigerians that after such a tensed period, the elections were brought to a peaceful an unprecedented conclusion.
We congratulate and commend the leadership, management and staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for its doggedness, resolute and unflinching commitment to deliver free, fair and credible elections to Nigerians, paving the way for the emergence of a leadership that represented the wishes and aspirations of majority of citizens of our great country. We note that this was achieved amidst several forms of distractions, intimidation, provocation and efforts to undermine its credibility and scuttle the electoral process.
We are relieved that the elections peaceful in most places except for isolated incidence of violence reported in Anambra, Rivers, Imo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Edo and Enugu states. We are also aware that there were challenges related to the effective functioning of the Card Readers that affected the Accreditation process and resulted in citizens having to wait for whole days and until night to cast their votes. This, does not detract from the creditable performance of the INEC and the ad-hoc staff who were in the front lines of the process
We also congratulate the President-elect, General Muhammad Buhari, on his election and commend his humility and magnanimity in victory, in demonstrating a willingness to serve and reinforce the peace that the nation presently enjoys. We urge to remain objective and focused while discharging his mandates as the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and maintain equity to ensure a unified Nigeria
We congratulate and commend the incumbent President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for his uncommon display of statesmanship and the spirit of sportsmanship. His concession of defeat and congratulatory message to his opponent even before the official declaration of full results represents an unprecedented gesture in the history of elections in Nigeria and provides an example that we expect others to emulate in future. We encourage him to maintain the spirit to ensure successful hand-over to the President-elect in accordance with the Constitutional provision, come may 29, 2015.
We commiserate with INEC and the families of staff of the Commission that lost their lives while in active service to their nation and pray that God gives them the courage to bear the irreparable loss.
We note with interest, the drastic turnover in the National Assembly with newly elected Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, we charge incoming and re-elected legislators to be prepared to be truly distinguished and honorable in the performance of their legislative duties during their tenure and to be accessible and accountable to their constituents who endured harsh conditions to elect them into parliament.
As we move towards Gubernatorial Elections, we further urge the INEC to address the lapses observed during the Presidential elections so as to ensure that the election of April 11, 2015 is also conducted peacefully. We call on all citizens in all the states where elections will hold, to conduct themselves peacefully. All the relevant stakeholders should maintain and improve on existing achievements to ensure free and fair conduct of elections across the country.
We charge civil society and the media to remain vigilant and not to relent in their pursuit of a truly democratic nation where the freedoms, rights and welfare of all citizens are guaranteed while we gear ourselves to commence prompt follow-up on campaign promises to demand accountability on adequate service delivery and fulfillment of campaign promises at all levels of government.
For any press enquiries please contact
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC
Tel: 234-08033844646, 07034118266