A former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has called for peaceful polls in Nigeria. According to him, political actors, civil society, the security services and the general public have key roles to play in ensuring that the elections are non-violent and acceptable to the people of Nigeria.
Mr Annan stated that all stakeholders must make the elections issues-based rather than the personalities or the identities of the candidates.
The former UN Chief Scribe was speaking during the adoption of an inter-party agreement on non-violence and the acceptance of the results of the upcoming elections on 14th and 28th February in Abuja by Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, former President General Muhammadu Buhari and nine other presidential candidates.
He said, ‘I am pleased that all parties are participating in this responsible initiative. It will reassure Nigerians and their international partners who are concerned about potential election-related violence and its consequences for the country’s prospects.’
Mr Annan was of the view that what happens in Nigeria affects all of Africa.
The inter-party workshop was chaired by Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, and attended by the chairmen of the two main parties and other candidates running in the legislative and gubernatorial elections, as well as the diplomatic community and the media.
The signing of the agreement in Abuja was the highlight of a mission undertaken by Mr Annan to support peaceful elections with integrity in Nigeria in 2015.
Mr Annan later met the Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, African Ambassadors, the international community, civil society leaders, business leaders and the media.
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