The United States, Australia, Japan, Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement in advance of Saturday’s election in Nigeria. In it, they welcome the candidates’ signing of a peace agreement and pledge to conduct the polls peacefully.
The countries’ missions in Nigeria issued a joint statement on Thursday, which Vanguard was able to access. In it, they said that the process’s safe, fair, and credible completion is essential to Nigeria’s stability and democratic consolidation.
“We encourage all actors to intervene proactively to calm any tensions and avoid any violence in the periods before, during, and after the elections,” the statement read. We ask Nigerian officials at the federal and local levels to uphold the democratic and human rights of its citizens. Anything that hinders the peaceful and open conduct of the election is strongly condemned by us.
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“We call on all officials, including law enforcement authorities, to ensure a safe and conducive environment for the exercise of public freedoms, such as the freedom of peaceful assembly, the freedom of association, and the freedom of opinion and expression, all of which are essential in democratic societies, particularly in the context of elections. Authorities in law enforcement should appear to be neutral and respond proportionately to any incidents related to the election.
“We also urge all presidential candidates and political parties to fulfill their commitments under the second Peace Accord, which is to accept the election results as announced by INEC and to pursue any challenge to the results through the appropriate legal channels.
“Finally, the Diplomatic Missions of the United States, Australia, Japan, Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom in Nigeria would like to congratulate Nigeria on its 24 years of democratic progress since 1999, during which it has served as a symbol for others of the value of exercising democratic rights for the benefit of society. The nations stated, “We hope that the elections this year will further build Nigeria’s democratic tradition.”