The Commonwealth said at the weekend that its election observers would soon arrive in Nigeria ahead of the presidential and National Assembly Elections scheduled to commence on March 28 March, 2015.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr. Will Henley, Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
Henley said the Commonwealth Observer Group will be led by Dr Bakili Muluzi, former President of Malawi.
He said Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, constituted the Observer Group at the invitation of the Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“The Commonwealth observers were deployed to Nigeria in early February for an election originally scheduled for February 14.
“Following a six-week postponement, the Observer Group was reconstituted by the Secretary-General and will be redeployed ahead of polling day,” he said.
According to him, a staff support team of six persons from the Commonwealth Secretariat led by Ms Katalaina Sapolu will support the 10-member observer group.
He quoted Sharma as saying the Commonwealth has been closely following developments in Nigeria since the elections were rescheduled.
“We are pleased that INEC has used the additional time to strengthen its preparedness for the elections.
“We are also pleased that more than 80 per cent of registered voters have now collected their permanent voter cards.
“The Commonwealth urges all involved in these elections to put the interests of Nigeria above all other considerations and to play their parts in ensuring peaceful, transparent and credible elections.
“The Nigerian people, alongside the wider region and wider world, expect this in Africa’s largest democracy,” he quoted Sharma as saying.
He said it was imported that the elections were held as planned on March 28.
“I am encouraged by reports from Nigeria’s leadership that these critical elections will take place as rescheduled.
“The Commonwealth Charter to which all governments are committed recognises the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, especially free and fair elections,” he quoted Sharma as saying.

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