Bill Clinton, a former president of the United States of America, has cancelled his planned visit to Nigeria ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
The former US president announced the cancellation in a statement issued by Angel Urena, his spokesperson, to Nduka Obaigbena, Chariman/Editor-in-Chief of ThisDay Newspapers.
Clinton was billed to land in Nigeria on Tuesday (today) on the invitation of the National Peace Committee (NPC), headed by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former head of state, to deliver a goodwill message at the signing of a peace accord between the political parties.
He was also expected to have after witnessing the signing of the peace accord on Wednesday, had discussions with President Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
But in his statement, Clinton expressed fears that the various political actors in the country could use his visit to escalate their political propaganda.
He noted that such a situation was not his aim and that of the peace committee and, therefore, decided to shelve his visit.
The statement read: “President Clinton appreciates General Abdulsalami Abubakar and the Nigerian National Peace Committee’s invitation to travel to Nigeria.
“He is incredibly supportive and respectful of 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.
“This is a crucial time in Nigeria, and President Clinton is hopeful that the election’s outcome reflects the will of the Nigerian people.
“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 noted that Clinton would speak to the presidential candidates of both the APC and PDP as well as the NPC Chairman.