Election observer missions tell Kenyans to do Africa proud

Aliyu Othman, Abuja

The heads of observation mission of African Union, former presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and John Mahama of Ghana for Commonwealth have asked Kenyans to do Africa Proud by having successful elections. 
The two former presidents in charge of observation missions in the Kenyan elections said at the opening of voting in the country that they should do the continent proud by having successful elections.
At a press conference on Monday, Mr Mbeki said that they were so confident that Kenya’s elections would go well, that neither he nor former Ghanain president John Mahama, who heads the Commonwealth’s mission, would be getting on planes on August 9, the day after elections.
“We are going to be around for a few days to also deal with any issue that might arise” Mbeki stated.
According to him, there are some fears that, once results are announced, Kenya might erupt into post-election violence as had happened a decade ago.
Mbeki expressed confidence that things were in place for the elections to go well.
“We are very pleased that the contestants in the elections recognised that the success of the Kenyan elections is of great importance to Africa as a whole and have therefore promised not to disappoint the expectations of the peoples of our continent,” he said.
Appeal to security Agencies
Mbeki appealed to Kenyan security agencies to keep the peace during and after the elections and also work with the country’s electoral body and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
“Mechanisms were in place to address concerns. There wouldn’t be any need for any of the parties in this process to take any extraordinary steps,” Mbeki added.
Don’t wreak violence
Former Ghanian president Mahama said Kenyans should not allow themselves to be used to wreak violence on others.
“Candidates come and go, but Kenya remains,” he said.
Mahama also said those who were defeated should be gracious while the winners should be magnanimous.
“We appeal to everyone involved in the election process to respect the laws of the land and the Constitution, and to do Kenya, Africa and the Commonwealth proud by conducting a credible election that meets the standards to which the country has subscribed to,” Mahama concluded.
Confidence Okwuchi