Photograph — Time

Former United States President, Bill Clinton has cancelled his planned trip to Nigeria over tendencies of his visit being “politicized.” The president was expected to visit Nigeria from 12 to 13 February 2019 ahead of the presidential elections.

“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 politicized in a way that is not in line with the goals of the Committee. Therefore, he will not be travelling to Abuja,” his spokesperson, Angel Ureña said in a press statement

President Clinton appreciated General Abdulsalami Abubakar and the Nigerian National Peace Committee’s invitation to travel to Nigeria. He expressed his support and respect for the Committee’s efforts of the election process and of the work being done to try to ensure a peaceful, free, fair, and transparent outcome.

However, he will hold meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar. “This is a crucial time in Nigeria, and President Clinton is hopeful that the election’s outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people. And he looks forward to talking to both candidates and General Abubakar this week,” Ureña concluded.

Clinton was invited by the National Peace Committee along with Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, to present a keynote address at the 2nd peace signing accord at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Wednesday.

The event will feature the signing of a peace pact between President Buhari, the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival Atiku, aimed at getting the two major candidates to accept the results of the election. The agreement would be the second after the initial one signed last December by the two men and some other major candidates.

The Committee, led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, is organizing the 2nd signing of the National Peace Accord in preparation for the 2019 General Elections, based on the importance of peaceful elections and non-violent transfer of power.

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