ELECTION RESULTS WERE AUTHENTIC- UK GOVERNMENT
UK commends INEC for election results despite criticisms
Following the declaration of incumbent President and APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23 elections by INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu yesterday,the United Kingdom Government has said that the results of the election were “authentic” as announced by INEC.
Harriet Baldwin, British minister of state for Africa said the results were in sync with that obtained from the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation Process.
In a statement released by the British High Commission in Abuja, Harriet said “I offer my congratulations to President Buhari on securing a second term as the Nigerian President. The UK is a long-standing friend and partner of Nigeria and the Nigerian people and a stable and prosperous Nigeria benefits Africa and the world.”
Despite widespread criticisms of the elections by all and sundry following reports of violence, election malpractices and logistics problem, and even an open refusal to sign the results by the PDP agent at the collation centre, it seems the results are deemed true in certain quarters.
“We encourage Nigerian authorities to examine all allegations of wrongdoing carefully, and take the necessary action against individuals found responsible’’ added Harriet who also recognised the concerns expressed by Nigerians on the elections, urging aggrieved individuals and parties to follow the appropriate legal channel to challenge the process peacefully if they wish to.
The British minister also condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in election-related violence and reiterated the support of the UK government to Nigeria and its civil society.
The British minister’s statement was the first authentication of INEC’s results.
The results of the election as announced by INEC saw the APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari emerge as winnner with 15, 191, 847 votes as compared to 11, 262, 978 votes for closest challenger Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.