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Charting A New Course Of Elections

SUSTAIN THE PEACE INITIATIVE (SPI) is a non- profit, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO),     established as an advocacy group for social engineering, sustainable peace and economic development.  The SPI at its meeting today 27th February, 2019 considered the outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in Akwa Ibom State and wish to state as follows:

(1) That the elections were smooth, peaceful and credible and surpassed the standard of 2015 conduct. From available evidence, materials and personnel were intact in their respective polling units while voting went peacefully.  Apart from a few incidence of violence, the general atmosphere was peaceful and the results so far declared have reflected the wishes of the electorates.

The Peoples Democratic Party won the presidential election in Akwa Ibom State with 395, 832 votes as against 175,429 by the All Progressives Congress. 

(2) We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for keeping its promise to conduct a free, fair and transparent polls. It is also our joy  to commend our President, Muhammadu Buhari,  for proving his integrity not to interfere with the outcome of the elections and also congratulate him for winning the presidential election. According to INEC, Buhari won with 15,191,847 votes in 19 of the states.   We urge both the President and INEC to sustain the momentum in the final lap of polls to elect Governors and House of Assembly members on March 9, 2019. We urge the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to seek redress through the appropriate channels at the tribunal or courts for whatsoever malpractice or irregularities observed during the polls. 

(3) We are aware, as everyone else is, that in every contest there must be winners and losers.  Such scenarios are admissible where the will of the people is not subverted.  In the present circumstance, both are equal beneficiaries of the wishes of the electorates. In the light of the foregoing, we hereby condemn calls by unpatriotic elements for the cancellation of elections in Akwa Ibom State.  We however sympathize with these retrogressive individuals who may have failed to embrace the paradigm shift in the conduct of polls in the country.

For the first time in the history of the State, there were ballot boxes, original result sheets and other materials at polling booths across the state. For the first time too, we have witnessed no incidence of kidnapping, assassination and other vices from the build -up to the campaigns up to the election proper.

Those who are calling for the cancellation of elections whose results were announced at polling units and replicated at collation centres are pushing to take us to the past. 

Rather than pursue an ignominious agenda they should approach the tribunals for redress over any perceived malpractice or misconduct.  Most importantly, they should be brave enough to commend the leaders at all levels for their courage to be different. In this wise, Governor Udom Emmanuel also deserves commendation for creating a level playing field for all political parties and individuals in the state to express their fundamental rights.  This sheer display of political tolerance is legendary and worthy of emulation. 

(4) Finally, we express our appreciation to all Akwa Ibom people irrespective of their political affiliation, for exercising their franchise with decorum and urge them to keep the spirit in the next elections for sustained peace and development.

Being a press statement issued by sustain the peace initiative Uyo, Akwa Ibom state and Signed by Emmanuel Ndon, Director of Communications

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