Former president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton has cancelled his much anticipated trip to Nigeria ahead of the February 16 presidential election in the country.
Clinton, who had been named as one of the dignitaries to deliver goodwill messages at the signing of a National Peace Accord scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Wednesday said he called off the trip because it could be politicized.
A press release signed by his spokesman, Angel Ureña, read: “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.”
The statement also noted that Clinton who was scheduled to be accompanied on the trip by Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, was to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and his main rival, Atiku Abubakar during the week.
The scheduled trip was facilitated by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the National Peace Committee (NPC).
According to the statement, Clinton would continue to support the NPC ‘s work towards peaceful and fair elections in Nigeria. He had been set to deliver a keynote speech at a ceremony for the signing of a peace accord by presidential candidates.
“This is a crucial time in Nigeria and President Clinton is hopeful that the election’s outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people,” the statement added.