U.S. Ambassador James F. Entwistle restated the need to keep the coming general elections in February free from violence. He spoke as national youth leaders from major political parties paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on January 15. The group also committed to a non-violence pledge during the elections in 2015.
“I am pleased to see Nigerians take up the message of non-violence in the coming elections,” Ambassador James Entwistle said.
He also noted that he was pleased yesterday at the Sheraton to witness the signing of the “Abuja Accord” where presidential candidates of major political parties, including President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Major General Buhari of the AllProgressives Congress (APC) committed themselves to a non-violence pledge in the coming elections in February. “I encourage Nigerians to hold leaders to that pledge,” Ambassador Enwistle said.
During the meeting, the youth leader of the Accord Party, Adburahaman Mohammed, reflected that the initiative of inviting youth leaders to also commit to non-violence from a U.S. Ambassador was the first of its kind. He acknowledged that youths, women and children suffered the most during political periods of unrest. He thanked Ambassador Entwistle and the U.S. Mission for leading the campaign on non-violence and promised to carry the message right to the grassroots.
Presidential and parliamentary elections will take place throughout Nigeria beginning February 14.
Representatives of political parties youth leaders—PDP, APC, theProgressive Peoples Alliance, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Accord Party and the Progressive Peoples Alliance—were in attendance.