The European Union, the United States of America and other western nations have called for the participation of women and youths in politics in Nigeria.
The group made this call on Sunday in a joint statement signed by the European Union (Delegation to Nigeria), France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, among others.
They reiterated their commitment to closely monitor the process leading to next year’s election.
“We hope to see transparent campaigns and we urge all voters to use their democratic right and vote. We are particularly keen to see greater participation of women, youth and people living with disabilities,” the group said.
They, however, warned all political actors to refrain from hate speeches and avoid anything that could heat up the polity.
“As friends of Nigeria and its people, we will follow the campaigns and election process closely. Who wins the elections is for the Nigerian people to decide. Our concern is to see a process leading to free, fair, transparent and peaceful elections.
“We urge all involved – political and non-political actors – to refrain from using hate speech and take a firm stance against violence. The 2015 Peace Accords played an important role in that regard and we welcome new efforts towards that end.”
On vote-buying, they called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to fulfill its constitutional role.
They added that INEC “must be allowed to operate free from outside pressure and intimidation, and in turn must demonstrate full neutrality and professionalism.”
The group also called on security agencies to provide “a safe and secure environment for the Nigerian people to exercise their democratic rights.”
Source – Channels