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Polls: Africa looking up to you for leadership, UN tells Nigeria

By Emmanuel Elebeke

ABUJA—United Nations Secretary in Nigeria, Mohammed Chambers yesterday challenged the Nigerian government and all stakeholders in the general elections to  work harder at ensuring that the outcome of the exercise  before, during and after the polls will be clothed in the globally acceptable tenets of a free, fair, credible and peaceful process.

The envoy gave the charge  at the National Workshop on Broadcast Media Coverage of the 2019 General Elections  with the theme: Fake News, Hate Speech, Vote and PVC Buying’’ held at the weekend in Abuja.

Chambers, who was represented at the occasion by Takwa Zebulun said Nigeria as the big brother that has  played a stabilizing role in many parts of Africa and consolidating their democracies should be able to conduct a credible and fair  election that would be globally accepted.

According to him, Nigeria occupies a strategic position in West Africa, the African continent, and indeed globally and therefore  expected  to deliver, credible, peaceful and fair  elections in 2019 in a manner that improves upon the performance of the 2015 elections.

His words, ‘‘I want to assure you that our engagements are solely complementing what INEC and relevant institutions and stakeholders are already doing to further mobilize Nigerians as well as the international community to contribute towards violence free, hitch free elections that will symbolize global best practice.

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‘‘The issues on the agenda on the sanctity of the 2019 general elections cannot be over stated. The damage done to the citizen democracy when we buy and sell votes and distort information is available.

‘‘This state level workshop seeks to reinforce and complement the capacity of the key actor to prevent, manage and resolve possible lection related disputes peacefully.  We are planning similar engagements in other states considered as  hot  spots as part our preventive and preemptive initiatives for peaceful elections.’’

He urged stakeholders to ensure that the outcome of the general elections before, during and after the polls will be clothed in the acceptable tenets of a free, fair, credible and peaceful process.

He  reiterated the need for all stakeholders to shun all forms of discourse that could ignite tensions and violence.

On UN message, he said every effort by both politicians and the electorate must be  geared towards making Nigeria  the overall winner after elections.

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