Worried by the uncertainties that may follow the March and April, 2015 general elections in Nigeria, United States president, Mr Barrack Obama, has delegated the assistant secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, to be part of the election monitoring team in Nigeria.
According to a media note made available to our correspondent by the Office of the Spokesperson of the United States Department yesterday, Ms Thomas- Greenfield who is billed to arrive Nigeria this morning (Saturday) will lead the country’s official diplomatic observation mission for today’s (Saturday) presidential and national assembly elections.
This is the latest example of United States support for a credible, peaceful electoral process in Nigeria.
According to the media note, Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield will also hold high-level bilateral meetings with Nigerian officials while in Abuja.
In a related development, Ambassador John Campbell, a former United States envoy to Nigeria, has said that the 2015 general elections could be a turning point for Africa.
Speaking in his latest article which was posted on the website of the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) on Friday, Campbell said Nigeria would become a beacon of hope for the continent, where democratic roots remain shallow if the polls are free, fair, credible, and if the results are accepted by most of its citizens.
His words: “If the results are not credible or if they exacerbate festering religious and ethnic tensions, the consequence could be violence and political uncertainty at home and erosion in the credibility of democratic practices throughout the continent.
“Instability in Nigeria could invigorate the Islamist insurgency, Boko Haram. Post-election upheaval could trigger a larger humanitarian crisis, potentially drawing in foreign military and humanitarian organisations. The elections could follow either trajectory.”
Campbell, a Senior Fellow at the CFR further said that election credibility must be the watchword, as Nigeria has never been so polarised or the major parties so suspicious of each other.