The Diplomatic Missions of the United States, Australia, Japan, Norway, Canada, and the United Kingdom in Nigeria have called on officials, including law enforcement authorities to ensure a safe and conducive environment ahead of the general elections.
The Diplomatic Missions made the call in a statement on Thursday, urging law enforcement authorities to remain neutral and respond in a proportionate manner to any election-related incidents.
“We call on parties to respect electoral laws and institutions and take a firm stand against violence and hate speech by their supporters. We ask the security services in Nigeria to do their utmost to protect that process and prevent and deter attacks against INEC facilities, materials, and personnel,” they said.
While welcoming the signing of the second Peace Accord by the candidates of parties competing in the upcoming presidential election, the Diplomatic Missions said they are fully committed to supporting all efforts that will ensure the Nigerian people decide who wins the election.
They said it is vital for Nigeria’s stability and democratic consolidation that the process is conducted and concluded safely, fairly, and credibly.
The Missions also encouraged all actors to intervene proactively to calm any tensions and avoid any violence in the periods before, during, and after the elections.
Calling on all officials at federal and local levels in Nigeria to respect the human and democratic rights of its citizens, they strongly condemned actions that undermine the peaceful and transparent conduct of the electoral process.
The Diplomatic Missions further urged all presidential candidates and political parties to live up to their commitments under the second Peace Accord to accept the results of the election as announced by INEC and to pursue any challenge of the results through the appropriate legal channels.