LAGOS — Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Aminu Bashir Wali and Nigerian ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Ade Adefuye, have assured that the re-scheduled general elections in Nigeria will hold on March 28 and April 11.
This came as they accused the Barack Obama’s administration of promoting falsehood that President Goodluck Jonathan was bent on using the security crisis as a ruse to stay in power.
The two diplomats were reported in the Washington Times, yesterday as saying that the US overall relationship with Nigeria, which boasts Africa’s largest economy, has grown stronger in recent years, but the relationship has suffered from poor communication and miscalculated public pronouncements from top Obama administration officials.
They asserted that as Boko Haram’s leader promised in a new video to violently disrupt the elections, Nigeria badly wanted to “buy American weapons to fight Boko Haram, but continues to be stiff-armed by the Obama administration because of concerns of the government’s human right record.”
They argued that Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s public condemnation this month of President Jonathan’s decision to delay the vote by six weeks early this month fuelled hysteria about a failure of democracy, adding that the State Department itself had helped fund a report that outlined how Boko Haram-related security risks could have ruined the election had it not been postponed.
The report, prepared jointly in January by the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute, said mayhem being sewn by the Islamist terror group in northern Nigeria would “mean the disenfranchisement of a large number of voters,” a factor that would “well call into question the legitimacy of the election.
“Holding the vote as planned on February 14 would have been a catastrophe in view of the challenges that were enumerated in the report,” said Adefuye.
“American opinion is highly respected in Nigeria,” the ambassador added, noting that Nigeria’s leading opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, has “harped on the statement to make these allegations” first made by Mr. Kerry.