In January 2015, Mr. Annan travelled to Nigeria to in support of free and fair elections and to try to reduce the risk of violence that the elections might trigger. Photos from the mission are available here.
Over the course of his visit, he met a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Presidential Candidates, the chairman of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC), the UN Resident Coordinator, EII partners, key civil society personalities, including religious and business leaders, African and Western ambassadors, and the media.
Mr. Annan delivered the keynote address at a civil society conference organised by the “Election Situation Room” with the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA). He also participated in an interparty “general elections sensitisation workshop”, at the end of which 11 presidential candidates, including President Jonathan and General Buhari, signed the Abuja Pledge not to resort to hate speech or violence and to respect the outcome of the elections (see link below).
The “Abuja Accord” was widely hailed as an encouraging development which provided civil society, the media and the international community with a yardstick against which to measure the parties’ behaviour and discourse in the weeks leading up to the elections. On March 26 – two days before voting- the Candidates signed a new pledge re-affirming their commitment to the Abuja Accord (also available below).