Religious freedom advocacy CSW has called for Christians to join in a day of prayer for Nigeria ahead of this weekend's general elections in the strife-torn country.

The UK-based organisation is holding prayer meetings in both London and Nigeria on Tuesday, 12th February.

Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of the organisation, urged Christians "everywhere to unite in prayer for the country".

"We believe in the power of prayer to bring change, and encourage Christians to join us in praying that the general public will be able to go out and vote without fear of insecurity and intimidation and that the electoral process, from start to finish, will be fair and free from violence.”

CSW has highlighted various concerns over the integrity of the electoral process in Nigeria, including the harassment of political opponents, and reports of delays in issuing voter cards in several states. They have also expressed concern over the extended detention of prominent activist Deji Adeyanju on a murder charge for which he was acquitted in 2014, and the suspension of the country’s chief justice - what they say could be a possible violation of the constitution - just three weeks before the elections.

CSW has also highlighted the "increasing insecurity" in the country with terror group Boko Haram continuing attacks in the country's north-east, displacing more than 59,000 people in just the past three months alone, as well as a rising number of kidnappings and murders in north-western states, and ongoing attacks by Fulani herdsmen on farming communities in states including Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba.