By Prudence Arobani
New York, Feb. 15, 2019
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has made phone calls to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Friday on the need for peaceful and credible elections on Saturday.
The Deputy Spokesperson for the Department of State, Mr Robert Palladino, in a statement noted that Pompeo also underscored the United States support for credible and peaceful polls in Nigeria.
Atiku, who is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) presidential candidate and Buhari’s main challenger in the Saturday’s election, had confirmed Pompeo’s call on Friday.
Palladino said: “Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke with major Nigerian presidential candidates President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in advance of the country’s February 16 presidential election.
“The Secretary noted the deep and long-standing partnership between the United States and Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous democracy and largest economy.
“He underscored U.S. support for the Nigerian goal of free, fair, transparent, and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
“He welcomed both candidates’ signing of a peace pledge and public commitment to renounce violence and to accept the results of a credible process.
“The Secretary noted the conduct of the elections is critical for the future of democracy in Nigeria and across Africa”.