from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE United States (US) has urged aggrieved political parties and their supporters from violence in the wake of disputed presidential elections in Nigeria.
Bola Tinubu, of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of Saturday’s hotly contested poll, but his rivals have vehemently rejected the outcome declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which is the main opposition, and the Labour Party (LP) have both cited irregularities.
“We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about the manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle,” said Ned Price, US Department of State spokesperson.
Price urged aggrieved parties to seek redress through mechanisms in place for the adjudication of electoral disputes.
“We call on all parties, candidates, and supporters to refrain from violence or inflammatory rhetoric at this critical time.”
The US has reiterated calls by other international observers in urging INEC to improve in the areas that need the most attention ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial elections.
Price said the government of President Joe Biden noted with concern reports that some members of the media were attacked during the course of the election.
“We urge the government, security forces, political actors, and all citizens to respect the media’s critical role by refraining from any damaging acts against them and ensuring accountability for such acts when they do occur,” he said.
Tinubu is to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, who has been at the helm since 2015.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and biggest nation by population, estimated at 219 million.
– CAJ News