UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on postponement of elections in Nigeria

Ban Ki-moonRiyadh, Saudi Arabia, 8 February 2015 – The Secretary-General notes the decision of the Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission to postpone the general elections, initially scheduled for 14 February 2015. He urges the electoral authorities to take all necessary measures, such as the rapid distribution of the remaining Permanent Voter Cards, to enable all eligible citizens, including those displaced, to exercise their right to vote in a timely manner. This is imperative for ensuring a credible, free and transparent election.

Yesterday, 7 February 2015, the Secretary-General spoke by phone to President Goodluck Jonathan. Earlier this week on 2 February 2015, the Secretary-General also spoke to opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari.

In his conversations, the Secretary-General encouraged both President Jonathan and opposition candidate Buhari to respect the Abuja Accord they willingly adopted and which commits them to non-violence, peace and tolerance during the elections.

He looks to Nigeria’s authorities to uphold their commitment to ensure a violence-free election and put in place adequate security measures so that citizens across the country are able to exercise their civic duty safely and without fear.

The Secretary-General hopes that the forthcoming elections will meet the high expectations of the Nigerian people and the international community. The successful conduct of these polls would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and enable the country to continue to play a leading role in the promotion of regional peace and security.