United States Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday spoke separately with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the Nigerian presidential election, which is scheduled for March 28.
The United States White House initiated the phone talks, according to THEWILL.
The Vice President commended President Jonathan and General Buhari for signing the Abuja Accord in mid-January as a show of their commitment to non-violence throughout the election process.
Mr. Biden further expressed the United States’ support for the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission and its work to deliver free, fair, and credible elections, in part through its essential efforts to distribute Permanent Voter Cards and help ensure that electronic voter card readers are in place and fully operational, The White House said in a statement.
He also noted his concern about the violence during some recent election-related events and reiterated the need for both candidates to make clear that such violence has no place in democratic elections. Biden also pledged the United States support for credible and peaceful elections, assuring that the US government would continue to stand with the Nigerians whatever the outcome.
President Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and General Buhari of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) are in a dead heat, in an election cycle that has the Southwest region of Nigeria, an APC stronghold, as battleground.
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