The European Union Election Observation Mission, Economic Community of West African States Election Observation Mission and other election observers have asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to finalise preparations and adhere strictly to the new February 23, 2019 date for the general elections.

The Observer missions noted that the suspension of the polls due to logistical and operational challenges had caused disappointment for many, admonishing the commission to provide regular updates and information to the public on its preparations in the coming days and weeks to enhance confidence and trust in the process.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the leader of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission, former President of Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf, African Union Election Observation Mission leader, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn and Commonwealth Observer Group leader, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Kikwete.

Others include the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Election Observation Mission leader, former President of Zambia, Rupiah Banda; European Union Election Observation Mission Chief observer, and Belgian Member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena; National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Mission co-Chairmen, former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, and ex-President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga.

Others are the Director of African Political Affairs Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Amb. Boubakar Adamou and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

The statement read, “We, the Heads of the international election observation missions and the United Nations present in Nigeria, have taken note of the decision of the INEC to postpone the 2019 general elections due to logistical and operational challenges.

“We urge INEC to use this time to finalise all preparations and ensure that the new election dates are strictly adhered to. We encourage INEC to provide regular updates and information to the public on its preparations in the coming days and weeks to enhance confidence and trust in the process.

“As we continue to closely observe preparations across the country, we stand in solidarity with the people of Nigeria in their desire for credible and peaceful elections.”

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