The British High Commission in Nigeria has congratulated the people of Osun for their active and peaceful participation in the Saturday, July 16th gubernatorial election in the State.
The commission noted that during the election, it observed improvements in the electoral process compared to the recent Ekiti governorship election.
In a statement released on Monday in Abuja, titled “Statement on the Osun State Governorship Election 2022” the commission commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security agencies, civil society organisations and stakeholders that participated in the election for working to ensure that the exercise was peaceful and secure.
The commission also expressed concern on the issue of vote-buying reported to have occured in some places during the election, and said it hopes that those involved would be held accountable by the relevant authorities.
The statement 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.
“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.
“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.