US envoy lauds peaceful conduct elections

The United States (U.S.) Ambassador to Nigeria, W Stuart Symington, on Monday commended the peaceful conduct of last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections across the country.

In a statement, the envoy said the preliminary report he got from the many observers groups that worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed that for a few isolated cases, the elections were peaceful.

Symington therefore urged the major political gladiators that signed the peace accord to prevail on their followers to eschew post-election violence.

He said: “I congratulate the tens of millions of Nigerians who stood patiently in long lines to vote this week and the hundreds of thousands who worked together with INEC to conduct the elections.

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, this election was predominantly peaceful, and it was proof of the Nigerian people’s resolute commitment to choose their leaders.

“The peaceful achievement of millions was shadowed by the violence of a few. We extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, and we urge all candidates to honor the Peace Accord they signed.

“All should convince those who support them to refrain from using force or violence to interfere with INEC.

“No one should break the law by announcing results before INEC does, or break the peace by claiming victory before the results are final.

“Everyone has a common interest in showing patience as INEC collates and announces the election results.”

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