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Clinton calls Buhari, wishes Nigeria a successful poll

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…to speak with Atiku later in the week

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended former President of the United States, Mr. Bill Clinton, for his continuous support for Nigeria and the growth of her democracy.

The President, who took a telephone call from President Clinton Wednesday night, described him as a friend of the country.

He commended Clinton’s constant support for the peace, stability and progress of Nigeria under a democratic dispensation.

President Buhari also assured Clinton of his commitment to free, fair and credible elections in the weeks ahead.

President Clinton, who regretted his inability to visit the country to witness the signing of the final peace accord before the general elections, wished Nigeria well as her citizens go to the polls.

Clinton had cancelled his scheduled visit to Nigeria, and promised to speak with the contenders in the Feb. 16 presidential election.

Angel Ureña, spokesperson to Clinton, said that the former president would, however, speak with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidential candidate of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), later in the week.

He would also speak with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ureña said the trip was called off because it could be “politicized.”

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Clinton was scheduled to visit Abuja this week alongside Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

The planned trip was facilitated by the Kofi Annan Foundation and the National Peace Committee (NPC).

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,” Clinton’s spokesman Angel Ureña said in a statement.

Clinton would continue to support the NPC ‘s work toward peaceful and fair elections in Nigeria, Ureha said.

He was billed to deliver a keynote at a ceremony for the signing of a peace accord by presidential candidates.

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