US Secretary of State calls for free, fair elections in Nigeria

World Today

If one was in doubt as to the main reason behind U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Nigeria, it all soon became clear when he addressed a gathering of journalists. CCTV’s Deji Badmus reported from Lagos, Nigeria.

US Secretary of State calls for free and fair elections

If one was in doubt as to the main reason behind U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Nigeria, it all soon became clear when he addressed a gathering of journalists. CCTV’s Deji Badmus reported from Lagos, Nigeria.

“The community is paying very close attention to this election and that the international community is deeply committed to working with Nigerians with the hopes that they would have elections free of violence and capable of instilling confidence in the future,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Political campaigns have reached fever pitch in Nigeria. But the process has witnessed some level of violence prompting fears the elections may be marred by violence. Kerry made it clear the U.S. would act against any such violence.

“Anyone who participates in, plans, or calls for systematic violence against the civilian population, must be held accountable including by ineligibility for an American visa. Violence has no place in democratic elections,” he said.

With the Islamist militants of Boko Haram still ravaging the northeast part of the country there are accusations that the U.S. may not be doing enough to support the country’s military. However, Kerry said the U.S. is still working with the Nigerian military to end the insurgency.

He still made it clear that the transparent elections remain a vital weapon in defeating terrorism.

The dominant theme in Kerry’s speech was Nigeria’s election. He said America will continue to work for Nigeria and support the country and that America will do more if only the country can ensure that next month’s presidential elections are peaceful and transparent.