Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
This is a select transcript of the remarks of President Barack Obama on the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.
Notes are added as necessary.
Nigeria is a great nation.
Now, that admission must be a terrible blow to the opposition who rub the Nation on the ground.
You can be proud of the progress you have made.
Acknowledging any positives in Nigeria is poisonous to some citizens.
Together, you have emerged from military rule.
Hopefully, we shall not return to military-style governance in any form.
You have strived to overcome divisions and turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength.
I for one detest the very notion of universality of individuality, where everyone behaves precisely the same and agrees on all issues.
You have worked hard to improve the lives of your families.
Interestingly, many in the opposition rejoiced at the collapse of oil price and subsequent fall in the value of the naira.
Patriots, they are, are they not?
Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress by voting in the upcoming elections.
Oh yes! History is being made.
Saturday, March 28, 2015 is the fourth ~4th consecutive elections overseen by a civilian government in my beloved nation.
It has never happened before since independence in 1960.
We must sustain that.
I have already commenced celebrating Nigeria.
For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful.
Take note the North, South-South.
All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.
Vote and leave others to vote.
Place your thumbprint on the candidate of your choice.
Other Nigerians have precisely the same right to vote for own choice.
There is no “You are not from here” with elections.
So, I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in elections.
Violence must no longer be tolerated.
And that they will not incite, support or engage in any kind of violence before, during or after the votes are counted.
I call on all Nigerians to peacefully express your views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence.
What happens when people believe religion calls for violence?
What should be the case of persons who believe Allah demands they commit murder and destruction of property?
Do they listen to the voice of reason?
And when elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace no matter who wins.
Let us hope the Nigeria Police remain visible on the streets for days after the election results are announced.
We as a Nation deserve peace.
Successful elections will help Nigeria meet the urgent challenges you face today.
Boko Haram, a brutal terrorist group that kills innocent men, women and children must be stopped.
Hundreds of kidnapped children deserve to be returned to their families.
Nigerians who have been forced to flee deserve to return to their homes.
Boko Haram wants to destroy Nigeria and all that you have built.
By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation’s progress.
I am told that there is a saying in your country:
To keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done.
Today, I urge all Nigerians from all religions, all ethnic groups and all regions to come together and keep Nigeria one.
And in this task of advancing the security, prosperity and human rights of all Nigerians you will continue to have a friend and partner in the United States Of America.