FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RE-ASSURE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY ON PEACEFUL CONDUCT OF THE RE-SCHEDULED 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS
The Federal Government has reassured the Diplomatic Community on the peaceful conduct of the General Elections, re-scheduled for Saturday 23rd February and 9th March, 2019 respectively. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama gave the assurance during an interactive session with Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations accredited to Nigeria on Wednesday 20 February 2019, at the Rotunda in the Ministry.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs appreciated the concerns raised by the International Community following the postponement of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections earlier scheduled for Saturday 16th February, 2019. The Minister informed the envoys that the postponement was due to logistical reasons on the part of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and has nothing to do with Government interference. He therefore call on Friends of Nigeria and the Diplomatic Community to continue to support and observe the process as necessary modalities has been put in place by various government institutions to ensure free, fair and credible elections. The Minister also reiterated the fact that, whereas, the Nigerian Government welcomes the support of foreign governments towards the peaceful conduct of the elections, the line should not be crossed to interfere in the process.
The Briefing Session was also attended by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by Federal Commissioner, Mustapha Lecky; and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu. The INEC Chairman expressed the readiness to conduct the rescheduled elections as all necessary m0dalities has been but in place to address the issue of reconfiguration of Card Readers, Safe protection of Sensitive Materials and the timely distribution of election materials in general.
The Inspector General of Police also gave the assurance that the Nigerian Police is ready to ensure the effective protection of election materials, INEC Officials and the electorate during the polls.
George Ehidiamen Edokpa
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja
Wednesday, 20 February, 2019