The United Nations has expressed willingness to continue to support all Nigeria’s political parties with respect to their commitments under their recently signed peace accord.
Recall that, all 18 registered political parties in Nigeria signed a peace pact ahead of the 2023 general elections on Wednesday, coordinated by the National Peace Committee, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The peace pact stipulates that all political parties included accept the outcome of the elections, and if unsatisfied, seek legitimate means of redress.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the UN Spokesperson, Stephanie Dujarric, stated that the global body witnessed the signing of the accord and would continue to support the pact.
Dujarric said that through the political engagements of UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel, the partnership with the NPC – the main convener of the peace accord signing events – was reinforced ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He said, “A senior official from the UNOWAS is in direct contact with the Chair of the NPC and stands ready to leverage good offices to support quiet diplomacy efforts to urge key actors to respect their commitments under the accords.
“As mentioned above, we have supporting high-level fora in a number of states aimed at promoting peaceful conduct and outcome of the elections.”
According to him, UNOWAS and the Office of the Resident Coordinator Office have also engaged with the main candidates, opposition leadership and institutions.
The spokesperson said UN had engaged relevant stakeholders to help create a conducive environment for the holding of the elections and had supported the organisation of high-level stakeholder fora in five States (Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, Enugu and Oyo) aimed at promoting peaceful conduct and outcome of the elections.
“We trust that all authorities in Nigeria will do their utmost to ensure peaceful election,’’ Dujarric added.
The publication also reported that even though UN did not provide electoral observers outside of very specific mandated circumstances, it commended Nigeria for inviting other regional bodies to observe the elections.
Dujarric stated, “We very much welcome the decision by the electoral authorities in Nigeria to invite electoral observers from a number of regional organisations, including ECOWAS, the African Union and the European Union.
“In addition, the United Nations system has continued to provide electoral assistance to national electoral authorities and support to a non-governmental network of organisations focusing on capacity building, promoting transparency and the inclusion of youth and women.
“Included in this support to the Independent Electoral Commission, has been technical support mainly through United National Development Programme (UNDP), to improve the process and use of technology in preparing for and managing the election.”