21st February, 2015
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon has reiterated the full support of the UN to the new dates fixed for the conduct of the Nigeria’s general elections.
This was contained in a statement issued by UN Spokesman, Stephane DuJarric, in New York on Saturday.
The statement quoted Ban as saying that the UN was closely monitoring developments and was offering its full support to Nigeria towards the March 28 and April 11 new dates for the polls.
The secretary-general explained that the UN High-Level Representative to Nigeria, led by Mohamed Ibn Chambas, would remain actively engaged with the Nigerian authorities over the coming weeks.
The UN scribe, “strongly urges the Government and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure these new dates are maintained, in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.”
He welcomed the commitments by the presidential candidates to respect the new elections dates.
The Secretary-General commended the progress made by INEC in the preparation for the elections, including the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).
He urges all relevant national institutions to continue to work with INEC to ensure all voters can exercise their constitutional rights to participate in the elections freely and without intimidation.
The Secretary-General nevertheless expresses strong concern over reports of election-related violence.
He urges all political leaders to adhere to their commitments under the Abuja Accord to refrain from inflammatory statements.
Ban also urged the political leaders to immediately condemn any statements from their supporters that amounted to an incitement to violence or subversion of the electoral process.