Concerned that politicians may twist his motive and politicise his intension, former US President Bill Clinton, on Monday, cancelled his much trumpeted trip to Nigeria.
During the planned visit, facilitated by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the National Peace Committee, NPC, Clinton would have, among others, met with the two political gladiators- President Muhammadu Buhari, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and his People’s Democratic Party, PDP, opponent in Saturday’s presidential poll, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The former US president would have visited Abuja, the nation’s capital, with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland.
Determined to help Nigeria achieve a peaceful, fair and credible poll, the NPC had reached out to the former American president others to help ensure a smooth electoral process.
The peace body may have made the move taking into consideration the high fatalities (an estimated 200) that dogged the 2015 general elections which the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP lost to then candidate Muhammadu Buhari and his APC.
“Over the course of the last several days, and after various conversations with the different stakeholders,” Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Ureña, said in a statement, “it’s become apparent that President Clinton’s visit to Nigeria has the potential to be politicized in a way that is not in line with the goals of the Committee. Therefore, he will not be travelling to Abuja.”
Ureña, however, assured that Clinton would continue to support the NPC’s work toward achieving a peaceful and fair elections in Nigeria.
The spokesperson also assured that Clinton would speak to both Buhari and Atiku Abubakar later this week.
“This is a crucial time in Nigeria, and President Clinton is hopeful that the election’s outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people,” the spokesman further stated.