As tension brews across the country while Nigerians await the
announcement of the winner of the Saturday, March 28,
presidential and House of Assembly elections, the Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) what must be done
before declaring the winners of the polls.
The North East Zone CAN Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byel, who
spoke with a Vanguard correspondent on Sunday in Bauchi,
advised the INEC that adequate security measures should be
put in place in volatile areas across the country before
announcing the election results.
According to him, the measure would help in avoiding post-
election violence, especially with regard to the outcome of the
“Past experience clearly showed that post-election violence
erupted immediately the result was announced, particularly
the presidential election result. That was what happened in
2011. We should learn from past experience,” he said.
The clergyman commended the INEC for conducting a
peaceful and successful election, with just minor glitches
caused by the malfunctioning Smart Card Readers in some
Byel also commended the electorate for coming out en masse
and being patient with officials of the electoral umpire during
the exercise as they perform their civic right.
The CAN chairman said it is a clear indication that Nigeria’s
democracy has come to stay and is gradually growing to
“The process was generally peaceful, people turned out en-
masse, like never before in the history of elections in this
country, usually characterised with apathy,” he said.
Byel pleaded with politicians and the electorate to embrace
the outcome of the election in good faith and accept it as the
will of God.
“Contestants and the supporters should embrace the spirit of
sportsmanship. Anyone who loses should accept the outcome
and try again another time. The person that won should
return God’s favour by being a good leader and a true
representative of the people,” Byel said.
Nigerians came out en masse to exercise their civic
responsibility on Saturday, March 28. The elections according
to several international and local observers were free, credible
and mostly peaceful, although there were a few cases of
tragedy in some parts of the country.