By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Ambassador of the United States of America, Stuart Symington, has urged candidates at the February 23 presidential and National Assembly polls to maintain the peace in the country by keeping to the Peace Accord they signed before the polls.
Ambassador Symington, who also urged the candidates to prevail on their supporters to shun violence as the nation awaits the declaration of the final results of the polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), congratulated Nigerians for the peaceful and orderly manner they conducted themselves so far.
The Ambassador, in a statement, said: “I congratulate the tens of millions of Nigerians who stood patiently in long lines to vote this week and the hundreds of thousands who worked together with INEC to conduct the elections. As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, this election was predominantly peaceful, and it was proof of the Nigerian people’s resolute commitment to choose their leaders.
“The peaceful achievement of millions was shadowed by the violence of a few. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, and we urge all candidates to honor the Peace Accord they signed.
“All should convince those who support them to refrain from using force or violence to interfere with INEC. No one should break the law by announcing results before INEC does, or break the peace by claiming victory before the results are final.”
He added that everyone has a common interest in showing patience as INEC collates and announces the election results.