- Local observers have urged losers of the presidential and National Assembly elections to accept defeat with dignity
- The national coordinator of organisation of Justice for Equity Sustenance, commended INEC for peaceful conduct of the election
- The just concluded election was said to have marked an appreciable improvement to the process of 2015 general election
A group of accredited domestic observers, has advised the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar to accept defeat with dignity.
Tunde Bafunsho, national coordinator of organisation of Justice for Equity Sustenance, gave the advice at a news conference on Wednesday, February 27, in Abuja.
He spoke on behalf of the Accredited Domestic Observers namely -National Committee of Patriots, Nigeria Vote Count Campaigner, Northern Patriotic Front, Patriotic Women Foundation and Citizen Rights and Leadership Aware Initiative, News Agency of Nigeria reports.
“The winners must be magnanimous in victory while losers must also accept defeat with dignity, at the end of the day, Nigeria and Nigerians will become the beneficiary," he said.
He commended Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for peaceful conduct of the election which he said met international standard.
“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.
“INEC Presiding Officers conducted their activities professionally and transparently.
“All stakeholders that participated in the election performed their roles towards the sustenance of a credible, peaceful, transparent electoral process and democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
Bafunsho, however, noted that conducting election anywhere in the world, is never an easy task, saying it requires collective input of all stakeholders.
This, he said, includes political parties, security agencies, traditional rulers, religious leaders as well as the entire citizenry.
He further noted that the postponement of the election by one week by INEC, helped in putting certain measures in place that culminated in the success recorded.
According to him, the election marks an appreciable improvement to the process of 2015 general election.
Bafunsho said voter turnout during last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly election was overwhelming and unprecedented in the country’s history, especially with the massive participation of women.
He, however, urged INEC to strive to sustain the momentum gained in the March 9 Governorship and National Assembly election as well as in subsequent elections.
He noted that the essence of democracy and the rule of law is to further advance the good and well being of the society. He said it is also to ensure that the citizenry enjoyed unimpeded access to goods and services as may be provided by those elected to preside over their affairs.
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Bafunsho stressed that the power to freely choose leaders of their choice must therefore, be entirely that of the electorate to make as exemplified by the smooth conduct of last Saturday’s election.
Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 states to defeat Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate who was his closest rival in the election. Atiku polled 11,262,978 votes according to INEC collated figure of votes from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Buhari had contested the election with over 60 presidential candidates from other political parties.
Twelve presidential candidates had some days to the election, withdrawn from the race and endorsed Buhari as their preferred candidate.
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