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The Heads of the Election Observation Missions of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), note with concern signs of increasing tensions in the country following the 25th February general elections.

As we follow the progressive collation and release of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), we wish to remind all stakeholders that the electoral process is still ongoing.  While we recognize that the tallying of results at all levels is a critical part of the process, we urge INEC, to expedite the transparent release of results to the general public, in order to ease anxieties and tensions.

We call on all political parties and their candidates to appeal to their supporters to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from the use of provocative language and the dissemination of misinformation and dis-information, which would only exacerbate political tensions, divisiveness, and violence at this critical stage, with the potential to undermine the progressive democratic progress Nigeria has continuously made over the years.  We exhort the electorate to maintain the patience so far demonstrated in the electoral process, and await for the official release of the results of the polls. We also urge the security agencies to continue to professionally discharge their duties with utmost respect for the rule of law.

We further call on political parties and their candidates to settle electoral disputes through peaceful means and dialogue, in accordance with the law. We remain confident in the strong commitment of the Nigerian government and her people to peace, stability, and development and reaffirm our commitment to accompany the country in advancing these important goals.

H.E Ernest Bai KOROMA                                              H.E Uhuru Kenyatta                            Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone             Former President of Kenya              Head of Mission ECOWAS Election Observation                Head of Mission AU Observation Mission                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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