Canada has advised the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to guarantee credible elections, even as it expressed concern over the postponement of the general elections. INEC had on Saturday shifted the general elections from Feb. 14 and 28 to March 28 and April 11 citing security advice by Nigeria’s military chiefs.
In a statement issued on Monday by Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights he said “Canada is concerned that Nigeria’s general elections have been postponed”.
“The people of Nigeria must be allowed to exercise their democratic right to choose their representatives through free, fair, peaceful and credible elections,” the statement said. “All institutions of state as well as political parties and candidates, must uphold democratic values.” The statement urged Nigeria’s security agencies to be impartial in providing security during and after elections.
It also advised INEC and security operatives to provide journalists unrestrained access to reports during the election process. “It is particularly important that security agencies provide security for elections in an impartial manner. “It is also important that journalists are allowed unfettered access in reporting on the election process,” the statement added.