The British High Commission, Abuja, has said the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission on the Saturday Osun State governorship election are consistent with the results obtained through civil society-led Parallel Vote Tabulation process.
This is as the government of the United Kingdom congratulates “the people of Osun state for their active, peaceful and democratic participation in the governorship election.”
In a statement released on Monday titled, ‘Statement on the Osun State Governorship Election 2022’, the UK commends INEC, the security agencies, Civil Society Organisations as well as all stakeholders that participated in the election.
The statement also noted that there were improvements in the electoral process as observed in the Osun poll compared to the recent Ekiti governorship poll.
The statement partly read, “The British High Commission congratulates the people of Osun State for their active, peaceful and democratic participation in the governorship election that was held on Saturday 16 July 2022.
“We note that the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are consistent with the results obtained through civil society-led Parallel Vote Tabulation process.
“We commend INEC, the security agencies, civil society partners led by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and all stakeholders for their contribution to the success of the process.
“Our mission which observed the election on Saturday was encouraged by the continuing improvements in the electoral process, following the governorship election in Ekiti State last month. The timely opening of polls, functionality of the BVAS devices for accreditation of voters and electronic transmission of results, accessibility provisions for people with disabilities and vulnerable voters and increased turnout of voters were all factors worth commending about the process.
The UK, however, stated that it was concerned by reported vote-buying during the election and called on relevant authorities to hold those found culpable to account.
“We are concerned by reports from some locations of apparent vote-buying and hope that persons involved are held to account by the relevant authorities,” it stated.
“As Nigeria approaches the 2023 general election, we encourage INEC and all relevant stakeholders to build on the progress made in the last two governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States as it builds on the strong legal foundation provided by the new Electoral Act to implement an electoral system that promotes the free and meaningful participation of young people, women, persons with disabilities and citizens generally in the democratic process.
“The UK will continue to support Nigeria, its institutions and civil society in drawing lessons from these elections to secure the integrity of its electoral system and the deepening of Nigeria’s democracy,” the statement added.