Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to improve performance in Saturday’s polls.
The Institute in a statement signed by its Director Overseeing the Office of the Director-General, IPCR, Gabriel Jiya, while commending Nigerians for their peaceful conduct during the presidential election as well as after the election result was declared by INEC, said they should bear in mind that typical of electoral contest, a winner would emerge and be declared by the electoral body, who is expected to be magnanimous in victory.
He urged other candidates to demonstrate sportsmanship and patriotism in exploring constitutional channels for ventilating their grievances.
Jiya said: “As a public-oriented institution, the Institute believes in the improvement of our electoral system and therefore urges INEC to learn from the experience of the last presidential election in organising, conducting and ensuring that Saturday 18th March 2023 for the gubernatorial and Houses of Assembly election is both peaceful and credible.”
He added that: “This is fundamental for democratic consolidation, representational governance, entrenching the culture of peace and sustaining the electorates’ confidence in the electoral process.”
He said: “We have also noted the conduct of the security agencies in mitigating violent incidents and securing the electoral space from the activities of political thugs and other criminal elements.
“Once again, the Institute urges the security agencies to improve on their election duty by being professional and civil in the discharge of their responsibility throughout the exercise in order to protect lives and property as well as safeguard the sanctity of the election.
“The Institute notes with appreciation the conduct of political parties, their candidates and supporters in receiving, appreciating and modestly celebrating the outcome of the presidential and National Assembly election, which is a sign of their firm believe in the capacity of the electoral process, including the judiciary, to deliver on credible outcomes.
“We call on them to continue to exercise confidence in the country’s democracy and support INEC in ensuring that the state-level election is both peaceful and credible.”
He noted that: “As a people, we have chosen constitutional democracy because it affords us the opportunity to collectively chart a future for ourselves through consensus building and the rule of law. Therefore, we must individually and collectively conduct ourselves peacefully and eschew any form of violence during and after the Saturday 18th March 2023 gubernatorial and state Houses of Assembly election.”