The US Consular General made the submission yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital while fielding questions from journalists.
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Commending the government’s efforts, particularly the deployment of military to the affected states, he expressed optimism that the elections will be peaceful if the stakeholders can eschew violence.
Mr Hawkins, who described free, fair and credible election as the necessary impetus of democracy, however cautioned politicians against engaging in violence in the June 21 governorship election in Ekiti State.
He said, “As a parent, I can’t imagine that school children could be killed in that manner. The US has listed Boko Haram as a terrorist group and we are not folding our arms as well. We are working not only with the government, but with Civil Society organizations on the need to sensitize the people and rid the country of terrors”.
Hawkins urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be thorough with Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections, saying the two polls are critical to the success of the 2015 polls.
According to him, the United States has demonstrated its desire to entrench democracy and good governance in Nigeria through the listing of the Boko Haram as a terrorist group and several other supports aimed at boosting the country’s economy.
UN Calls For Protection Of Civilians
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, yesterday called on the Nigerian government to step up measures to protect the lives of civilians in the northern parts of the country.
Stating that it was increasingly alarmed at the humanitarian impact of continuing violence in north-eastern Nigeria, the UNHCR stressed the importance of protecting civilians.
The agency, in a press statement obtained from the spokesperson of the agency, Adrian Edwards, by our correspondent, further said that the newly arrived refugees interviewed by the staff of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Niger have spoken of atrocities on the islands and shores of Lake Chad in north-east Nigeria’s Borno State.
Edwards said: “One woman described corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water. She said people feared staying even to bury their dead or find missing relatives.