US says 2019 general election in Nigeria is a major priority
There are about seven countries that will be conducting elections in 2019, but Nigeria seems to stand out among them.
The U.S Department of State disclosed this during a briefing on the planned first visit of Mr Rex Tillerson, the U.S Secretary of State, to Africa. The visiting is hold between March 6 and 13, 2018.
According to programmes of the visit, Rex Tillersonwould meet President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria in Abuja. Thereafter, he would also meet the leaders of Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.
“As we look at the 20 elections, obviously Nigeria, though it’s not this year – it’s going to be next year – that really is a major priority focus, because that’s going to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050.
“It was really very complex political issues and ethnic and tribal issues and security issues,
“And that’s an area that we really are focusing on how to do a peaceful transition, a democratic transition. But more important is how to hold governments accountable to the people,” the state department said.
Increase in number of democratic regimes in Africa and the need to strengthen them as most are still fragile necessitated this visit.
The U.S government also commended peaceful transition of power in Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast and Senegal. It said these are positive developments for good governance in the region.
“... horrendous rule of Charles Taylor and the degradation of the institutions there, but now we’ll going back and they’re building. And I think with the election of George Weah that’s going to be a positive thing”.
The government said building strong institutions and holding governments accountable are some of the things that are certainly going to be the subjects of discussion during Tillerson trip.
“How do we advance political and economic reform that will help in the transition process? Those are issues too that we’re working in Zimbabwe with the transition between Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“And also we’re looking hopefully at South Africa with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa from Jacob Zuma and seeing how that’s going to transition,” the state department said.
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