The former United States President, Bill Clinton, has canceled his trip to Nigeria ahead of Saturday’s general election, saying the visit could be misinterpreted politically.
Clinton and Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, had been named dignitaries for the goodwill messages at the signing of a National Peace Accord scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre in Abuja, tomorrow, February 13.
The former US president had called off his own participation, citing fear that his presence might be politicised.
Yesterday, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had accused the United States Ambassador, Stuart Symington; and other western ambassadors of partiality and tacit support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Clinton and Scotland’s planned trips were facilitated by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the National Peace Committee.
A press statement signed by Clinton’s spokesman, Angel Ureña, states, “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 politicised in a way that is not in line with the goals of the committee.
“Therefore, he will not be traveling to Abuja.”
The ex-president Clinton reportedly promised to continue to support the NPC ‘s work toward peaceful and fair elections in Nigeria.
The statement added that the former president would speak later this week with President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also reportedly expressed the desire that the outcome of the election would reflect the wishes of Nigerians.