Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, has issued the following statement on the outcome of the Nigerian Presidential elections.
Jean, a member of the European Parliament Election Observation Mission to Nigeria, said:
“The conduct of the last Saturday’s Presidential election has struck a cautious note of optimism for a democratic future. The election appears to represent a break from the seriously corrupt and flawed elections of the past and hints at a new standard of democratic integrity for the nation.
“However, whilst there is some reason to feel hope, the election has not been without its challenges, namely violence and claims of electoral fraud. Following reports of rioting across the north of the country, I categorically condemn the violence and reported loss of life that has taken place and urge all political leaders to act responsibly in ensuring that excessive force is not used against peaceful protestors and that protests are peaceful.
“The people of Nigeria have made great efforts to vote in these elections. I hope their commitment will not be shaken, resulting in a lower turn-out for the Governorship elections on April 26th.
“Nigeria’s response to this unrest must not lead to further violence or further undermine the trust of the voters in the electoral process. The European Parliament must now continue to show its support as Nigeria looks to strengthen its democratic process and hold truly free and fair elections in the future.”