The Secretary-General noted today the decision of the Nigerian Independent Electoral Commission to postpone the general elections, initially scheduled for 14 February 2015, and urged 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,” the Secretary-General said in a statement issued by his spokesperson, which noted that Mr. Ban spoke by phone to President Goodluck Jonathan and to opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari in recent days.
In those conversations, the Secretary-General encouraged respect for the Abuja Accord which both men willingly adopted and which commits them to non-violence, peace and tolerance during the elections.
Mr. Ban 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.
He 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,” the statement said.