The African Union and Economic Community of West African States Observation Missions have appealed to Nigerians to shun any acts that may trigger post-election violence in the country.
The Leader of the AU delegation and former Kenya president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and former President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and leader of the ECOWAS delegation made the call while briefing the media on the preliminary report of the elections on Monday.
Koroma said both missions would continue to involve stakeholders, Independent National Electoral Commission officials, and political parties until the electoral process is concluded.
He said, “We appeal to Nigerians to remain peaceful and calm, listen to the official sources of dissemination of results, and do not listen to the general social media platforms They can disinformation and cause problems.
“That is why as the AU and ECOWAS, beyond observation, we have now been transformed into a preventive diplomacy engagement.
“And we will continue to engage the stakeholders, INEC, stakeholders, and political parties until the whole process is concluded and there is a peaceful transition to a new leadership.
“We urge Nigerians to complete a process started in an encouraging manner.”
He also urged INEC to quickly upload election results on its portal.
Koroma said that the AU and EU Observation Missions are urging INEC to improve its communication to avoid any form of speculations, disinformation, and fake news.
The Leader of the ECOWAS delegation said it was in Nigeria alongside the AU Mission on a diplomacy engagement to ensure a peaceful transition.
He noted “All we can do at this stage as we have done in the preliminary report is urge INEC to where possible improve on communication with the public and member of political parties.
“Improve on the counting and collation methods and review the uploading, because these were all systems that INEC promised to rule out without any difficulties.
“And as observers, we cannot make conclusive statements but will continue to urge INEC because there is a lot of anxiety out there, people are anxiously waiting.
“And the more we delay, the more we give rooms to speculations, misinformation and disinformation. So we are concerned about this and as we say.
“We will continue our engagements with INEC and other stakeholders to ensure that what has started as a relatively peaceful process will continue and end up in a manner that is acceptable to every one of us, including the Nigerian populace.”
Also, Kenyatta said that they have tried to be as transparent as possible in reporting what they have seen, adding that the process was not over until declarations are made.
“The only thing I can do is join President Koroma in appealing to INEC to recognize the mood and see what the situation is to speed up the process and ensure that process of accountability and credibility that they have maintained so far.
“To continue to maintain it to the end so that the true will of the good people of Nigeria shall be expressed in the leaders that they elect.
“We have no reason whatsoever to doubt the integrity of INEC. For us, it is to continue to appeal that those glitches they are having be rectified. The sooner the process is brought to a transparent conclusion the better.
“And the only appeal we will have over and above that is to all stakeholders, political parties, the candidates to have the patience to await the final the final authority entrusted to do that,” he said.