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February elections consolidated Nigeria’s democracy, Presidency replies critics

The Presidency on Monday evening said the Presidential and National Assembly elections of February 25 has consolidated Nigeria’s democracy and improved the integrity of the Electoral Act 2022.

It also argued that as much as international observers faulted the irregularities witnessed in the collation of results, due credit must be given to the efforts of the Buhari regime to ensure free and fair polls.

“Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria,” a statement signed by the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, read late Monday.

The statement is titled ‘February 25 presidential election is a marked improvement on past elections, the world should note this.’

It noted that the adversities faced in some quarters are all part of the learning process for Nigerians, the government and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“No one has disputed the result of the election, except the candidates that fell short. The biggest and the most competitive presidential election in the history of Nigeria has been won by one man: Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“The US State department congratulated President-elect Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC and the people of Nigeria on the outcome of the ‘competitive election.’ British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, was also quick to congratulate the winner, on this victory. And so did many others in ECOWAS and the African Union.

“Though it is true there were some delays and technical faults in the process that we can learn from – as is the case in any election the world over – the vote progressed and consolidated democracy in Nigeria,” Shehu wrote.

The Presidency argued that the integrity of the Electoral Act of 2022 was strengthened as it paved the way for the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System which, it claimed, cut out ghost, unauthorised or multiple votes to stem fraud.

“The election may not have been pluperfect, but due to the steps the government has taken, it is an improvement on previous polls.

“That achievement should not be overlooked. The next step is for the Election Commission to ensure transparency in collation.

“Adverse reactions as received from some quarters are themselves a part of the learning process for everyone,” it said.

The Presidency also maintained that despite the “epic lies, obfuscation, jingoism and hate, and told by global media” Nigerians shocked the world by refusing religious hatred and sectarian politics.

Therefore, all true friends of Nigeria should join the people in proceeding forward for sustainable peace.

It also noted that the “APC victory in the presidential election, underscored by the nationwide wave of support in the National Assembly results is clear mandate for the party to retain power for another term of four years.

“This election is an improvement on past elections and due credit should be given to the government and people of this country.”

The Presidency thanked former ambassadors Mark Green and Johnnie Carson – along with other foreign observers – for their concerns over the logistics of the recent general election in Nigeria and their work as observers on the National Democratic Institute/International Republican Institute Election Observation Missions.

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