Kofi Annan calls for peaceful elections in Nigeria


Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan has called for a peaceful election in Nigeria.

Kofi Annan made the call when he, the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, former President General Muhammadu Buhari and nine other presidential candidates adopted an inter-party agreement on non-violence and the acceptance of the results of the upcoming elections on 14 and 28 February.

“I am pleased that all parties are participating in this responsible initiative,” Kofi Annan said.

He added that the inter-party agreement “will reassure Nigerians and their international partners who are concerned about potential election-related violence and its consequences for the country’s prospects.”

He observed that “What happens in Nigeria affects all of Africa,” hence the need to ensure to support a peaceful elections with integrity in Nigeria.

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.

Mr Annan also met the Chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, the African ambassadors, the international community, civil society leaders, business leaders and the media.

His visit began with a civil society conference on elections with integrity chaired by Cardinal John Onaiyekan and organised by a coalition of Nigerian NGOs under the umbrella of the Election Situation Room with the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.

At the conference the participants expressed their concerns about the elections: security; delays in registration; and the heated rhetoric that is heightening tensions.

Kofi Annan emphasized the role that political actors, civil society, the security services and the general public have to play in ensuring that the elections are non-violent and acceptable to the people of Nigeria.

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