The United Nations on Tuesday appealed to all stakeholders to remain calm through the conclusion of the electoral process in just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections in Nigeria. UN Spokesperson, Stephanie Dujarric, in a statement, called on all political leaders and their supporters to ensure a peaceful atmosphere.
He also called on them to refrain from any conduct, such as hate speech, misinformation or incitement to violence, that could undermine the electoral process and ultimately the peace and stability of Nigeria. “The United Nations reaffirms its solidarity and support to the people and Government of Nigeria.” Earlier in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Dujarric said UN would continue to support all Nigeria’s political parties to respect their commitments under their peace accord. All 18 registered political parties in Nigeria had signed a peace pact on the 2023 general elections coordinated by the National Peace Committee (NPC).
The peace pact entails that all political parties accept the outcome of the elections or to seek legitimate means of redress in the event of divergent positions. Dujarric said that through the political engagements of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the partnership with the NPC – the main convener of the peace accord signing events – was reinforced ahead of the 2023 general elections. “A senior official from the UNOWAS is in direct contact with the Chair of the NPC and stands ready to leverage good offices to support quiet diplomacy efforts to urge key actors to respect their commitments under the accords.
“As mentioned, we have supporting high-level fora in a number of states aimed at promoting peaceful conduct and outcome of the elections,’’ he said. According to him, UNOWAS and the Office of the Resident Coordinator Office have also engaged with the main candidates, opposition leadership and institutions.
The spokesperson said UN had engaged relevant stakeholders to help create a conducive environment for the holding of the elections. He said UN had supported the organisation of high-level stakeholder fora in five States (Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, Enugu and Oyo) aimed at promoting peaceful conduct and outcome of the elections. “We trust that all authorities in Nigeria will do their utmost to ensure peaceful election,’’ Dujarric said.
In addition, he said the United Nations system had continued to provide electoral assistance to national electoral authorities and support to a non-governmental network of organisations focusing on capacity building, promoting transparency and the inclusion of youth and women. “Included in this support to the Independent Electoral Commission, has been technical support mainly through United National Development Programme (UNDP), to improve the process and use of technology in preparing for and managing the election,’’ the spokesperson said