The United Kingdom (UK) has lent credence to the the genuineness of the presidential election result announced by the independent national electoral commission (INEC).
In a statement issued on Wednesday by Harriett Baldwin, UK’s minister of state for Africa, she said Nigerians could have confidence in the result of the presidential election held on Saturday because the result declared was in tandem with the civil society parallel vote tabulation process.
President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), won the election with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) coming second.
“I offer my congratulations to President Buhari on securing a second term as the Nigerian President,” she said in the statement.
“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.
“The Nigerian people have demonstrated resilience and a commitment to democracy. The result declared by the Nigerian election commission is consistent with the result obtained through the civil society Parallel Vote Tabulation process. Along with our international partners, the UK believes the Nigerian people can have confidence in the result.”
Atiku had since described the election as a sham and debasement of the country's democracy hence rejecting the result and vowed to challenge it in court.
Reacting, however, Baldwin urged the opposition to seek redress and challenge the result in a legal and peaceful manner.
“We also recognise that independent Nigerian voices have expressed concerns about the conduct of the electoral process, in particular logistics and results collation, and reports of intimidation of election officials,” she said.
“We urge any party or individual who wishes to challenge the process to do so peacefully and through the appropriate legal channel and we encourage Nigerian authorities to examine all allegations of wrongdoing carefully, and take the necessary action against individuals found responsible.
“My thoughts are also with the families and friends of those who lost their lives in election-related violence. No one should die in the exercise of their democratic rights. We will continue to support Nigeria and its civil society in drawing lessons from these elections and strengthening its democracy.”