[Video] Obama tells Jonathan, Buhari's supporters to shun violence
President of the United States, Barack Obama, has called on the Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, to warn their supporters against committing any violent act in the coming polls.
Obama also did not fail to call for the safe rescue of the more than 200 kidnapped Chibok girls by Boko Haram.
In a video posted on Monday on the White House official website, President Obama conveyed the message to the Nigerian people to highlight the opportunity that the upcoming elections presents for them to stand together in rejecting violence and extremism and instead show their support for a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous future.
'So I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections—and that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence—before, during, or after the votes are counted. I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence. And when elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins,' Obama said.
In his message, the US President made it clear that his message was for Nigerians who will be voting in the March 28 and April 11 elections, urging them to safeguard the democratic process by performing their civic responsibility peacefully.
Obama said, 'Today, I want to speak directly to you—the people of Nigeria. Successful elections and democratic progress will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you facetoday.
'Boko Haram—a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children—must be stopped. Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families. Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes. Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have worked to build. By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation's progress.'
Obama also urged all Nigerians to put their ethnic and religious backgrounds behind them ahead of the polls, saying that the task ahead of the country requires the people to be united.
'I'm told that there is a saying in your country: 'to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.' Today, I urge all Nigerians—from all religions, all ethnic groups, and all regions—to come together and keep Nigeria one. And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity, and human rights of all Nigerians, you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States of America,' he added.