Nigeria Decides 2015: ECOWAS President appeals for peaceful polls in Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Chairman, Ghana’s President John Mahama, has called for peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

“Nigeria’s safety and security is the safety and security of our region,” an ECOWAS Commission statement quoted the Chairman as saying in a message of solidarity and support for Nigeria, which he repeated during separate meetings with key Nigerian political stakeholders in Abuja on Monday.

The ECOWAS chairman was received and later held talks with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), at the Presidential Lounge of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, in the first of the series of meetings.

Accompanied by ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, Vice President Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security Salamatu Husseini Suleiman, and the Director of Political Affairs. Dr. Remi Ajibewa, the ECOWAS chairman also met with the Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, and later with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).

During the meetings, President Mahama underscored the need for a peaceful electoral process in Nigeria, saying “Nigeria is not only an important member of ECOWAS, but also the biggest economy and the most populous nation in Africa.”

He appealed for calm to enable “Nigerians cast their votes in peace and ensure that their votes count,” while urging political parties and their candidates to respect the peace pack they signed.

“We do not expect any post-election violence,” the ECOWAS chairman said, adding that ECOWAS, which already has Long-term Observers on ground, “will continue to monitor the situation and support Nigeria ‘to ensure that the electoral process is free, fair credible and transparent.”

He expressed the hope that Nigeria should get it right, so that four other ECOWAS member states holding elections this year can take a cue from the success.

Nigeria’s nearly 70 million registered voters go to the polls on 28 March and 11 April to elect a President, National Legislators, Governors and State Assembly Members, in the fifth general elections since the country returned to democracy in 1999 after a prolonged military rule.
-0- PANA SEG 25March2015

25 Março 2015 12:54:42

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