Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson will travel to Nigeria April 8-11 to observe the country’s National Assembly elections scheduled for Saturday, April 9. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the National Assembly elections on April 2 due to delays in the delivery of voting materials to polling stations across the country.
In remarks at the Woodrow Wilson Center on April 5, Assistant Secretary Carson commented that, “we share the disappointment of the electoral commission and of the Nigerian people that this important electoral event had to be postponed, and we renew our call for credible and transparent elections in this critically important country. If Nigeria’s elections are not a significant improvement over 2007, and if the current elections do not meet the expectations of a majority of voters, the Nigerian people will lose confidence in their leaders, their democratic institutions, and the capacity of Nigeria to sustain a positive democratic trajectory. We believe Nigeria has an historic opportunity to allow the Nigerian people the opportunity to elect their local, state and national representatives in a climate free of violence and intimidation. We hope that opportunity will not be lost.”