NDI observer missions to Nigeria have called for Nigerian elections to be held on 28 March for presidential and legislative elections.
(READ MORE: Nigeria’s polls: What do the people want?)
The polls were originally scheduled for 14 February but were postponed at the last minute.
“It is our sincere hope that there will be no further delays to the polls as any additional postponement would endanger the credibility of the electoral process and its outcome,” the leaders said in their statement,” said the National Democratic Institute in a statement.
The institute’s former and current leaders called on Nigerian authorities and the Independent National Electoral Commission to commit to maintaining the March dates for the presidential and legislative polls and the 11 April for state elections.
“We care deeply about Nigeria’s democratic, economic and social progress. As the most populous nation with the largest economy on the continent, Nigeria serves as an example for its neighbours and other African countries,” added the institute.
“Developments there impact not only the people of Nigeria but have effects that go far beyond the country’s borders.”
“We therefore urge Nigerian authorities and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commit to guaranteeing the polls are credible and inclusive and providing regular updates on actions undertaken in preparation for the elections.”
(READ MORE: Nigerian elections postponed to 28 March: INEC)
NDI also called on the security services, which had claimed that they could not guarantee safety nationwide for voters and poll workers for the February election, to redouble their efforts for the March and April polls.
“At the same time, these services should conduct themselves in a professional and nonpartisan manner in order not to interfere in the country’s electoral and political processes,” added the NDI.
Some of the notable people who urged Nigeria to adhere to the 28 March election date are Madeleine Albright, former US secretary of state; Robin Carnahan, former Secretary of State, Missouri; Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada; Martin Luther King III, human rights leader and Ket Masire, former President of Botswana.