As tension brews across the country while Nigerians await the announcement of the winner of the
Saturday, March 28, presidential and House of Assembly elections, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) what must be done before declaring the winners of the polls.
CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and Cardinal Onaiyekan The North East Zone CAN Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byel, who spoke with a Vanguard correspondent on Sunday in Bauchi, advised the INEC that adequate security measures should be put in place in volatile areas across the country before announcing the election results.
According to him, the measure would help in avoiding post-election violence, especially with regard to the outcome of the presidential election.
“Past experience clearly showed that post-election violence erupted immediately the result was announced, particularly the presidential election result. That was what happened in 2011. We should learn from past experience,” he said.
The clergyman commended the INEC for conducting a peaceful and successful election, with just minor glitches caused by the malfunctioning Smart Card Readers in some areas.
Byel also commended the electorate for coming out en masse and being patient with officials of the electoral umpire during the exercise as they perform their civic right.
The CAN chairman said it is a clear indication that Nigeria’s democracy has come to stay and is gradually growing to maturity.
“The process was generally peaceful, people turned out en masse, like never before in the history of elections in this country, usually characterized with apathy,” he said.
Byel pleaded with politicians and the electorate to embrace the outcome of the election in good faith and accept it as the will of God.
“Contestants and the supporters should embrace the spirit of sportsmanship. Anyone who loses should accept the outcome and try again another time. The person that won should return God’s favour by being a good leader and a true representative of the people,” Byel said.
Nigerians came out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility on Saturday, March 28. The elections according to several international and local observers were free, credible and mostly peaceful, although there were a few cases of tragedy in some parts of the country.
In Gombe state, some INEC officials and a police officer were ambushed and killed by a yet to be identified gunmen before the commencement of the election in the area.
But these apprehensions are not far fetched following the recent call from the APC, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the entire results of the 2015 presidential election and National Assembly elections in Enugu and Akwa-Ibom states.
Despite the fears expressed by the Christian association, the presidency had earlier on Sunday urged supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan against panic over some “fake results” of Saturday’s presidential elections allegedly being released by an opposition party.