United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has urged the Federal Government to ensure that the new dates set for the general elections are maintained following the recent postponement.
The polls, originally scheduled for February 14, was rescheduled to March 28 and 11 April,2015 following appeals by the armed forces to delay the vote for six weeks within which to combat the Boko Haram terrorist threat.
In a statement on Friday, the Secretary-General welcomed commitments by the presidential candidates to respect the new calendar and commended the progress made by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the preparation for the elections, including the distribution of Permanent Voter Cards.
In addition, Ban urged all relevant national institutions to continue to work with INEC “to ensure all voters can exercise their constitutional right to participate in the elections freely and without intimidation.”
He expressed strong concerns over reports of election-related violence and urged all political leaders to adhere to their commitments under the Abuja Accord, “to refrain from inflammatory statements and to immediately condemn any statements from their supporters that amount to an incitement to violence or subversion of the electoral process.”
Ban reiterated that the UN would continue to closely follow developments in the country and that the Organisation was offering its full support to Nigeria at this important moment, particularly through the ongoing active engagement of his High-Level Representative to Nigeria, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.