Nigeria: “The election winner must unite the country and be held accountable by the Nigerian people” say S&D observers

Nigeria: “The election winner must unite the country and be held accountable by the Nigerian people” say S&D observers

In a particularly tense and volatile context, the most hotly contested presidential and legislative elections in the history of Nigeria took place on 28 and 29 March.

The S&D Group appointed Ana Gomes and Kashetu Kyenge to participate in the European Parliament election observation delegation and they met with political parties, the national electoral authorities, religious leaders and civil society representatives in Nigeria. The MEPs stressed the importance of transparent and credible elections according to international standards. On election day they also monitored polling units inside and outside Abuja and Lagos.

Despite the postponement, the good will of the organisers and the dedication of citizens to the process, the delegation noted a lack of preparation, some inefficiencies in the procedure, some acts of violence and other irregularities. The final results have yet to be announced.

S&D MEP Ana Gomes said:

“The people of Nigeria deserve admiration for their civic commitment and determination to cast their votes and ensure the integrity of the results, despite many difficulties. Much can be improved in the electoral process and to increase citizens’ participation. We support their demand for accountable governance and an end to impunity for corruption and human rights violations.”

S&D MEP Kashetu Kyenge said:

“We call on all parties and citizens to accept the results of the elections in peace. The winner of the elections has many challenges ahead that he should not shy away from. He must unite and not divide the country. He can count on the international community to provide assistance in fighting the violence of Boko Haram by addressing its roots in socio-economic and cultural inequalities, facing the looming oil crisis and defending human rights for all, including for women and sexual minorities.”