Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, made the call in a statement published on the organisation’s website on Friday. He asked Nigerians to ignore advises capable of promoting conflict among them and commended the people for a pre-election period which he said has been largely “peaceful and participatory”. The UN envoy encouraged all Nigerians to continue to maintain calm and to exercise patience and restraint throughout the voting process and the announcement of the final results. He welcomed the signing of the second peace accord by presidential candidates on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital. Ibn Chambas, however, urged the candidates to mobilise their sympathisers and supporters to adhere to the tenets of free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and credible elections, devoid of hate and denigration of each other. He also asked Nigerians to come out in their numbers and cast their vote peacefully in the exercise of their civic responsibility on Saturday. The Special Representative affirmed that the success of the polls was the responsibility of all citizens and relevant institutions, particularly the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, political parties, candidates, religious leaders, and the civil society among others. He appealed to all candidates and party leaders to seek redress of any grievances they may have through legal and constitutional means. Ahead of the polls, Ibn Chambas said there was a need for all stakeholders to prioritise the interest of the country. He was hopeful that the successful conduct of peaceful, free, fair, transparent, inclusive and credible elections would set another example for the polls coming up in West Africa and Africa, and underscore Nigeria’s leadership in the region.]]>
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