By Evelyn Okakwu with agency report
Australia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria has appealed to political parties and their candidates to refrain from violent acts and inflammatory speeches ahead of the February general elections.
Mr Jonathan Richardson, gave the advice on the occasion of the celebration of Australia Day in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Australia celebrates its National Day on Jan. 26 every year to commemorate the establishment of the first European settlement at Port Jackson, now part of Sydney, in 1788.
Richardson said that Australia was, however, confident that the poll would be peaceful.
He welcomed the Abuja Peace Accord of Jan. 14, and appealed to all the stakeholders to abide by the non-violence pact.
He said, “Australia wishes Nigeria every success in holding free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
“Australia welcomes the outcome of the Abuja Accord for committing the main political parties to refrain from violent and inflammatory speech and stresses the importance of making this commitment a reality.”
The envoy shared the confidence of other international observers that INEC was determined to organise well run and credible elections.
According to him, it is important that all other stakeholders, including the parties, security agencies and the courts, share with INEC the responsibility of delivering credible elections.
“Australia joins the overwhelming majority of Nigerians in their ambition that the elections will be a celebration of democracy – a success story and a milestone in Nigeria’s political evolution.
“Australia supports some civil society organisations in the area of electoral education and to put in place ways to resolve any local conflict through discussion and dialogue,” he added.
Richardson called for unity, like was shown during the celebration of Nigeria’s centenary, which was an important milestone.
The envoy also acknowledged Nigeria’s success in eliminating the threat of deadly Ebola virus, adding that it was another important milestone the country achieved in 2014. (NAN)