- Reactions continue to trail the decision of INEC to postpone the February 16 presidential and National Assembly elections
- Election observers have also being giving their thoughts on the electoral commission's last minute decision
- The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and its partners have expressed disappointment over the postponement of the polls
The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and its partners have expressed disappointment over the postponement of the 2019 general elections.
WANEP said the decision of INEC has socio-economic and political consequences for all stakeholders.
This was the position of the group at a press briefing on Saturday, February 16 in Abuja.
Co-chair WANEP, Aisha Ado Abdullahi, said: “Without prejudice to INEC’s reasons for the postponement, we acknowledge that the decision has socio-economic and political consequences for all stakeholders.
“However, WANEP remains committed to its mandate of promoting peaceful and credible elections.
“In this context, WANEP urges the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to continue to provide regular information to the general public on the progress of the revised timelines for the elections, in order to re-assure the electorate on the credibility of the process.
“While commending Nigerians for their peaceful conduct, we implore the electorate and the political parties to continue to exercise patience and understanding and refrain from acts that could jeopardize the peaceful conduct of the process.
“We urge the electorate not to be discouraged but to come out en masse on 23rd February and 9th March 2019 to exercise their civic rights.”
WANEP also called on the international community, partners and domestic observers not to be deterred or lose faith in Nigeria's electoral process, urging them to remain resolute in their support to ensure peaceful and credible elections.
Responding to an inquiry on whether the reasons given by INEC for the postponement is justified, WANEPs Executive Director, Chkwuemeka Eze said: “Our position is that excuses, no matter how beautiful they are, must equal results.
He continued: “I think that Nigerians wanted results, Nigerians wanted an election. Nigerians wanted election to hold and we are as disappointed as most Nigerians.
“Of course, we appreciate these reasons given by INEC, but if you look at the enthusiasm in the Nigerian polity, it was so enormous that Nigerians wishes for nothing other than an election.”
Eze also said WANEP would give INEC the benefit of the doubt on concerns that electoral materials deployed to certain areas would not be tampered with.
He also stated that WANEP's situation room in Abuja would still be open, and continue to collect information on preparations ahead of the rescheduled polls.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that WANEP deployed 114 observers nationwide for the elections.
Before now, WANEP had established and operated Election Monitoring, Analysis and Mitigation (E-MAM) across West Africa as part of its support to Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) efforts in ensuring the credibility and peaceful conduct of elections in the region.
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