The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, has advised Nigerian politicians to work towards ensuring a peaceful and violence-free February general elections.
Kerry gave the advice at a news conference in Lagos, on Sunday, at the end of a closed-door meeting he held with the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Goodluck Jonathan and his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari.
“The US government strongly believes in Nigeria having credible, free and fair elections next month,” Kerry said, adding that his country and the international community were keenly interested in the conduct of next month’s election.
Kerry, while stressing the need for politicians and Nigerians at large, to eschew violence before, during and after the election, said: “We want to say that any Nigerian who promotes any form of violence during the elections remains ineligible for US visa.”
The US Secretary stated that President Barack Obama specifically sent him to meet with Jonathan and Buhari, to discuss how to ensure a violence-free election.
Just as he discussed how to ensure violence-fee elections and ending insurgency with Jonathan, at the meeting with Buhari, at his Ikoyi, Lagos residence, the duo, with other chieftains of APC in attendance, spoke on the need for free and fair election in February.
The national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; US Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle; national leader of APC, Senator Bola Tinubu and Rivers State governor, Mr Rotimi Amaechi were all present at the meeting.