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2019 Election: US Congressman advises Buhari to live up to GEJ’s legacy of peaceful transition

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As reactions continue to trail the postponement of the 2019 general elections, a US congressman has written a letter to president Buhari asking him to emulate the peaceful transition process of the Jonathan administration.

Chris Smith, a ranking Republican in the House sub-committee on Africa laid the blame for the postponement squarely on president Buhari’s shoulders. He said this in a letter to President Buhari titled, ‘On the Postponement of Elections in Nigeria,’

The letter reads:

“Responsibility for the delay of Nigeria’s presidential election lays squarely with President Muhammadu Buhari and those close to him. Actions in advance of the election — including removal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen and arson attacks on Independent National Electoral Commission offices in opposition strongholds — are undermining confidence that this election and subsequent gubernatorial elections will be free and fair. At a minimum, the presidential election must meet the 2015 standard, which saw a peaceful transfer of power and a statement by the then-sitting president that all bloodshed must be avoided.”
“In addition to being sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria is its biggest economy, and what happens in Nigeria has ramifications beyond its borders,” Smith said.  “Given the magnitude of global problems Secretary Pompeo must contend with, he should consider appointing a Special Envoy for Nigeria vested with full authority. “The State Department must use all tools at its disposal, including visa denial and sanctioning authority, to hold accountable those who undermine democracy and foment sectarian and ethnic violence,” Smith added

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