Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, right, walks with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, on his arrival at the State House in Lagos, Nigeria, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.
John Kerry, the U.S Secretary of State, who is on an official visit to Nigeria, has said that his country will not offer visa to anyone who causes violence in Nigeria during the forth-coming election. Among his reasons of visiting Nigeria was to urge the rival political camps to respect the outcome of February elections. The United State government is concerned that post election violence could disrupt the stability of Nigeria which will undermine effort to tackle the Islamist militants of Boko Haram. “Given the stakes it’s absolutely critical that these elections are conducted peacefully,” Kerry told reporters in the commercial capital Lagos after meeting President Goodluck Jonathan and main opposition rival Muhammadu Buhari.
He also said, “Nobody gains by violence, nobody gains by turning a political disagreement into a killing spree … The proof will be in the actions that are taken in the course of the election and afterwards.” He continued, “Anyone who participates in, plans or calls for … violence against the civilian population must be held accountable, including by ineligibility for an American visa… Perpetrators of such violence would not be welcome in the United States of America.”
This statement from Kerry might have come from the understanding that some politicians, due to their selfish ambition and their do-or-die greed for power, may want to instigate violence in the country if they discover they loose the election. These politicians may recruit illiterate, jobless and hungry people in the streets to cause this violence. Sometimes they may also catch in on the religious and ethnic sentiments of Nigerians and use it as a means to incite their adherents to cause havoc. While the violence may be on, they may run away to other safer countries like the United States, asking for asylum and then living the ordinary and gullible people to kill themselves. May we be wise Nigerians.
The U.S Secretary of State also urged the government of Nigeria not to delay the election. His words may not be unconnected to the statement of Sambo Dasuki, the National Security Advisor to Jonathan that the polls be delayed to allow more time for the distribution of voters card. “It is imperative that Nigeria holds its elections on time,” he said. Also he phoned the electoral commission head Attahiru Jega to ask him to ensure the poll is credible and not to let the date slip.
Kerry said the United States remained committed to helping Nigeria fight Boko Haram, which has killed thousands, kidnapped hundreds and displaced over a million people during its campaign to carve out an Islamic state in northeast Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. How the election is conducted will affect the U.S. ability to assist Nigeria, Kerry said.
Overnight Boko Haram attacked the main northeastern city of Maiduguri, leading to hours of fighting before Nigerian troops repelled the militants.
Source : Reuters