Publicly Calm Your Supporters Now, NDI Observers Tell Jonathan, Buhari

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NDI

By Sadiq Umar, Abuja.

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has urged political parties and candidates in the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly elections to “openly call on their supporters, even as the country awaits election results, to react peacefully to INEC’s announcement of election results.

In keeping with the Abuja Accord, NDI called on the candidates to publicly encourage supporters to seek redress, should there be reason for electoral complaints or disputes, through legal avenues.

At a media briefing on Monday in Abuja, the NDI’s International Observer Mission to Nigeria, co-led by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former prime minister of Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Danda and former Camerounian presidential aspirant and senior associate for Africa and regional director at NDI, Christopher Fomunyoh, called on Nigerian government to maintain the same level of heightened security to guarantee that the current electoral cycle is not disrupted in the coming two weeks.

It recommended that INEC should review and address the causes of widespread delays in the opening of polling units observed in the March election including better planning for transportation of poll workers and sufficient voting materials to the polling units.

“Ensure sufficient provision of basic resources to facilitate a smooth and efficient process, such as tables and chairs, food and water for polling staff, lighting and improved provision of facilities for elderly and disabled voters.

“Reinforce the importance of publicly posting results at the individual polling units.

It further urged “Nigerian stakeholders to address immediate challenges before the April 11 state elections in order to continue to enhance citizen confidence and participation and hence mitigate violence during and after polls.”