17 November 2018

Nigeria: UN Interested in Credible Polls in Nigeria, Says Envoy

The United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, has said the UN and the International Community were committed to ensuring that the 2019 general elections in Nigeria were credible.

Speaking after a meeting with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Ibn Chambas added that the international community also craved peaceful polls in the country.

He said: "The United Nations and the International Community are very interested in the 2019 elections. We want to see how the elections can be peaceful

"We are working closely with the federal government, with the states and national institutions which are charged with the conduct of elections to ensure a credible process."

He stated that the purpose of the engagements was to ensure that all stakeholders contribute to the development of a credible electoral process.

"At the end of the day, we will be able to have credible and peaceful elections, which enables Nigeria to play her role as a leader in West Africa and Africa.

"We discussed ways that we can put some confidence building measures to allow politicians, civil society organisations and eminent personalities play a role in minimising conflicts that could occur before, during and after the elections," he said.

The international diplomat added that they would ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) worked in ways that would enhance confidence of politicians in the process.

He also commended Governor Nyesom Wike for donating modern office complex to United Nations agencies in the state.

Responding, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said elections should not be a do or die affair.

He said the current winner-takes-all attitude should be discouraged in the interest of the nation.

The governor agreed that stakeholder engagements were vital to credible polls. He, however, said INEC should allow the votes of the people to count.

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