The African Union Observation Mission says it is on ground to support Nigeria through a peaceful, credible, transparent election and transition of power.
The Head of the AU Observation Mission for the elections, Uhuru Kenyatta, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja.
He spoke when he led the AU Observation Mission on a visit to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Kenyatta, who was former President of Kenya, said the eyes of the world and Africa are keenly on Nigeria at the moment.
He said that the AU Observation Mission and the world is with hope that the outcome of the elections will bring all parties together to build a better Nigeria.
He said: “We are here to work together with you as members of the African Union observer team for the upcoming Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship as well as State Assembly elections.
“We are here as members and brothers and sisters.
“One thing which I have noted in particular is President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s personal commitment towards a free, fair and transparent election.
“This is something he has been talking about at various intervals.
“We are here today to see that those words turn into reality in the next few days.
“We are here to work together with our brothers and sisters of Nigeria, as they exercise that fundamental right, which is the democratic right to choose freely, the leaders without hindrance.
“There are many challenges and we all know that. And those challenges are not peculiar to Nigeria.”
Kenyatta noted that there are challenges that for one reason or another affect various parts of the world and not just Africa.
“But at the end of the day, what we want is that the eventual outcome of these elections reflects the will of the people of this great country of Nigeria,” Kenyatta said.
He said that elections are not the beginning and the end, urging candidates and political parties to put the interest of the country and citizens first.
He added: “We are looking forward to working with all candidates, we are looking forward to working with the Electoral Commission, we are looking forward to working with Nigerians.
“I repeat, Nigeria is the largest democracy on the African continent and the outcomes will send a signal to the rest of the continent and the world of Africa’s commitment to democracy.
“And Africa’s commitment to respecting the free will of people to elect leaders of their choice.
“We appeal to every single citizen to let peace reign throughout the process and for people to understand that there is life after an election.”
Responding, Onyeama thanked the AU Observation Mission for their support through a peaceful transition of power in the upcoming general elections.
He said that Nigeria, the government and people are ready for peaceful and credible polls, a legacy President Muhammad Buhari will want to be remembered for.
He said: “We thank you enormously for your role as an African leader, and what you did during your mandate for Africa.
“So, Mr. President, really, thank you very much indeed.
“And Africa owes you and I think Kenya owes you a big debt of gratitude for truly what you have done, and we are extremely proud of you.
“And also the way you have really respected the principles of democracy and practiced it. So thank you very much a great model for Africa, and for our people.
“And thank you very much indeed again on behalf of Nigeria for agreeing to come to Nigeria to help us also to strengthen democracy.”