Nigeria urged to uphold new dates for elections

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard (file)

Authorities in Nigeria have been urged by the UN Secretary-General to ensure that rearranged general elections take place as planned.

The elections were originally scheduled to be held in February but were reportedly postponed to March and April because of security concerns.

The most populous nation in Africa continues to face the threat of Boko Haram terrorists who have vowed to establish an Islamic state in the northern part of the country.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Nigerians were expected to elect a new president and members of parliament on 14 February, but violence forced the postponement of those elections.

In a statement issued on Friday, the UN Secretary-General strongly urged the government and the country's Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure the new dates are upheld.

Ban Ki-moon welcomed the commitments by the candidates running for the presidency to respect the new calendar of 28 March and 11 April.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has more.

"The Secretary-General urges 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. The Secretary-General nevertheless expresses strong concern over reports of election-related violence." (19")

Mr Ban urged all political leaders to adhere to their commitment under the Abuja Accord to refrain from inflammatory statements and to immediately condemn any incitement to violence.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’06″

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