From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The United Kingdom (UK) has congratulated the people of Osun State for their active, peaceful and democratic participation in the July 16 governorship election in the state.
The British High Commission, Abuja, in a statement on its social media platforms following the declaration of the results of the election, noted that the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were consistent with the results obtained through civil society-led Parallel Vote Tabulation process.
“We commend INEC, the security agencies, civil society partners led by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and all stakeholders for their contribution to the success of the process.
“Our mission which observed the election on Saturday was encouraged by the continuing improvements in the electoral process, following the governorship election in Ekiti State last month. The timely opening of polls, functionality of the BVAS devices for accreditation of voters and electronic transmission of results, accessibility provisions for people with disabilities and vulnerable voters and increased turnout of voters were all factors worth commending about the process,” the United Kingdom said.
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The UK, however, expressed concern over reports from some locations of apparent vote buying, even as it hoped that those involved will be held to account by the relevant authorities.
“As Nigeria approaches the 2023 general elections, we encourage INEC and all relevant stakeholders to build on the progress made in the last two governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States as it builds on the strong legal foundation provided by the new Electoral Act to implement an electoral system that promotes the free and meaningful participation of young people, women, persons with disabilities and citizens generally in the democratic process.
“The UK will continue to support Nigeria, its institutions and civil society in drawing lessons from these elections to secure the integrity of its electoral system and the deepening of Nigeria’s democracy,” the British High Commission also said.