1: We want to first thank God for the very successful conduct of the first phase of our elections last Saturday. Across the entire country, we were gratified to receive news of huge turnouts of our people to cast their votes. Nigerians across the different segments of our society conducted themselves in a most peaceful and credible manner. They patiently stood with equanimity, co-operated with the officials of INEC in areas where minor glitches occurred with card readers, late arrival of officials and materials along with other logistical challenges. We saw voters supporting one another with food and water, seats, mats, umbrellas and so on. We watched the young assist the elderly. We showed that our common humanity is moreimportant than political differences. We could not have asked for more from our people. Our citizens performed their civic duties faithfully and we are very proud of what we achieved as a people.
2: Now, we are entering the most difficult phase, namely, the vigil before the declaration of the results. We want to commend our people, especially the security agencies, civil society groups and the Internet community. The social media is a great tool for enhancing accountability and transparency which all goes to strengthen Democracy. The social media has given us voice as individuals and communities. The challenge however, lies in how responsibly we use this great tool.
3: We must note that so far, no individual, institution or platform is allowed by law to announce the results of these elections, no matter how accurate or factual their information may be. We all know that INEC is the only body under our laws with the powers to announce these results. The organisation will do this after a painstaking and diligent collection and collation of final results from well over 120,000, polling units across the country. In our experience, the journey of these results from the Ward, Local Government to the State level is a challenging one and fraught with many dangers. This is where the anxieties and fears of Nigerians lie. This is where the land mines leading to violence are planted. This is where conscience and patriotism beckon on us before God to do the right thing.
4: We therefore appeal to our citizens to remain calm, to INEC to ensure that its officials along with party agentsuphold the tenets of transparency and accountability that the body has so much espoused. We call on the security agencies to remain vigilant and neutral. We renew our trustin the leadership of INEC and its commitment to doing the right thing.
5: We already have received the assurances of both the two leading candidates, President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR and Major General Muhammad Buhari, GCFR to the effect that they are willing to cooperate with INEC so long as we have a transparent process. We therefore want to assure our citizens that we will all do everything in our power to ensure that Nigeria crosses this very difficult bridge. We appeal to you to remain calm to ensure that our nation is the final victor.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all.
General Abdusalam Abubakar, Chairman, National Peace Committee
Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, Co-ordinator, National Peace Committee.
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