Reactions continue to trail the postponement of the 2015 general elections with the United Kingdom taking the position that the security situation should not be an excuse to deny Nigerians from exercising the democratic rights.
UK’s Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond, according to a statement made available by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Monday, said the decision to postpone the elections is a cause for concern.
“The Nigerian people have the right to credible, peaceful and transparent elections. There should be no further delay in delivering democracy and I urge all to remain calm during this period of frustration,” Hammond said.
“While we support Nigeria in its struggle against terrorism, the security situation should not be used as a reason to deny the Nigerian people from exercising their democratic rights. It is vital that the elections are kept on track and held as soon as possible in accordance with international norms,” he added.
ECOWAS, on its part, appealed to all political actors to respect the decision of INEC and accept it in good faith.
In a statement issued Monday, the ECOWAS Commission also urged all political actors to refrain from utterances or speeches that are capable of inciting violence.
It reiterated its support for Nigeria’s electioneering process,while noting the concerns and disappointment of Nigerians and all other stakeholders by this postponement.
“ECOWAS calls on the Nigerian Security Services to remain dedicated towards restoring normalcy in the North East of Nigeria. ECOWAS encourages INEC to take advantage of the postponement to complete all pre-election arrangements, particularly the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVC) in order to ensure free and credible elections,” the statement read.
ECOWAS also appealed to all Nigerians to abide by the democratic process and uphold the rule of law. Thisday