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Chadians vote to end military rule as Nigeria sues for peaceful election

Voting on Monday started in Chad to elect a civilian president in an election aimed at ending military rule.

Voters will choose whether to extend decades of idriss Deby family rule in one of the world’s poorest countries, a crucial territory in the fight against jihadism across the Sahel desert region.

They have the chance to opt instead for Deby’s own prime minister, Succes Masra.

At his closing election rally on Friday, Idris Deby promised a “knockout in the first round”.

Masra also vowed to win without a run-off, telling supporters: “For the first time, Chad will be yours, Chadians.”

Amb. Babagana Kingibe, Nigeria’s Special Envoy to Chad and the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), has called on candidates, political parties and the general public to uphold peace during the Chad presidential election.

Kingibe, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, urged Chadians to maintain the relative peace and good order demonstrated during the campaigns.

He implored Chadians to remain calm after voting and patiently await the announcement of the outcome of the elections by the Chad’s National Election Management Agency (ANGE).

The special envoy said that any grievance that might arise from the polls should be channeled to the appropriate authorities.

“On the eve of the historic presidential election in Chad, I congratulate the transitional authorities in Chad, the Chadian people and all friends of Chad for the journey so far towards the return of the country to a democratic constitutional order through peaceful elections.

“As the Special Envoy to Chad of the LCBC, and, as mandated by the Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the LCBC, I and my team have, since May 2021, closely followed and accompanied the Chadian people and the Government in their transition process.

“Throughout this journey, the Chadian people and the transitional authorities exhibited great patriotism, mutual tolerance, and the necessary spirit of compromise in order to change the Chadian narratives and now commit to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous democratic country.”

Kingibe said that transition process had not been easy or without often heated contentions.

He noted, however, that Chadians confronted all the challenges, weathered all the political and security storms and were on the cusp of the final lap.

“Therefore, I call on all the presidential candidates, the political parties and leaders, and the general public to maintain the relative peace and good order demonstrated during the campaigns.

“Continue to remain calm; and after the voting, patiently await the announcement of the outcome of the elections by the ANGE, the body legally authorised to announce the results.

“I further urge that any challenges, complaints or grievances that may arise are taken up peacefully for settlement through the constituted electoral guidelines and laws, or if necessary, the judicial processes.

“The alternative is to risk the tremendous progress and the fruits of the great sacrifices already made by all parties.

“I wish to reassure of the continued support to Chad of the Leaders of the LCBC as they look forward to the peaceful inauguration of a new democratic constitutional order in the country,’’ he said.

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