- Former US President Bill Clinton has canceled his scheduled trip to Nigeria
- The National Peace Committee headed by Nigeria's former military president, General Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd) had invited Clinton to the country
- Clinton's spokesman says his visit to Nigeria has the potential to be politicized in a way that is not in line with the goals of the committee
Former US President Bill Clinton has canceled his scheduled trip to Nigeria few days to the presidential election.
The National Peace Committee headed by Nigeria's former military president, General Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd), had invited Clinton to deliver a keynote address and witness Nigeria's major presidential candidates sign another peace accord this week.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are the front-runners in the race as Nigerians go to the polls.
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The committee had also invited Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth.
Clinton's spokesman, however, says his visit to Nigeria has the potential to be politicized in a way that is not in line with the goals of the committee
“Over the course of the last several days, and after various conversations with the different stakeholders, 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 traveling to Abuja,” Clinton's spokesman Angel Ureña said in a statement.
Clinton, according to the statement, would continue to support the committee's work toward peaceful and fair elections in Nigeria.
Clinton will speak later this week with President Muhammadu Buhari, who is standing for re-election, and his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar, his spokesman said.
“This is a crucial time in Nigeria, and President Clinton is hopeful that the election's outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people,” his spokesman said.
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Meanwhile, a recent public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that majority of Nigerians are not aware of most registered political parties in the country.
The poll which was released on Tuesday, February 5, also revealed that the two most popular political parties in Nigeria are the APC and PDP.
The respondents, however, showed some level of awareness on about 26 of the 91 registered political parties with the All Progressive Grand Alliance coming third followed by the Social Democratic Party.
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