Its four days till the most powerful economy in Africa takes a decision to elect their head of state, and the United States of America and Canada extend their own personal messages.
Yesterday, USA President Barack Obama sent a video message to all Nigerian voters across the globe. You can view the full video here, but here is an excerpt:
“Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you’ve made. Together, you won your independence, emerged from military rule, and strengthened democratic institutions. You’ve strived to overcome division and to turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength. You’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families and to build the largest economy in Africa.
Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress—by voting in the upcoming elections. For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful. All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.”
Successful elections and democratic progress will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you face today. 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.
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.”
From the Canadian State – a short message from Rob Nicholson
“Upholding democratic values is the collective responsibility of all political parties and state institutions, and includes promoting peaceful dialogue and rejecting violence in the event of a loss or disputed result. The professionalism and impartiality of security agencies during and after the elections is paramount.
“These elections are critical to reinforcing democracy in Nigeria and offer a valuable opportunity for Nigeria to set a positive example of democratic elections in Africa.”
Fairly interesting messages to the country at this pivotal time of the year yes? One would wonder why these first world nations are concerned over democracy and security practices in Nigeria.