Nigeria: Presidency, APC in Face-Off in Washington Over 2015 Elections


The presidency and opposition political leaders are set to confront each other today in Washington DC, the United States, at a debate on the sincerity of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan towards delivering free and fair elections next year.

Presidency officials are led by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Communications, Dr. Doyin Okupe, while the spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is to articulate issues from the perspective of the opposition. Both teams arrived at the weekend in Washington D.C for the debate.

According to a report yesterday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and his Benue State counterpart, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, are also to feature at the forum.

The presence of the National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu, could not be confirmed despite the fact that he is one of those invited to the events.

The forum on the road map to Nigeria's decisive 2015 elections is organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, (CSIS), a non-for profit think-tank based in the US.

The CSIS has had two sessions on Nigeria this year as part of its efforts in consolidating democracy in Nigeria.

Last January, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, was at the head of a policy forum on plans towards the 2015 elections.

A month ago, the majority of the country's governors from the north were at another forum focused on addressing the state of insecurity fanned by the Islamic Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

An American think-tank raised indignation in Nigeria few years ago when it predicted that the country would disintegrate by 2015. That was before the rage of crisis inspired by Boko Haram.

The session, however, is directed at drawing assurances from policy makers in Nigeria and opposition leaders towards a common agenda that would ensure free and fair elections in 2015, which will be acceptable to all stakeholders.