Obama Calls For Free, Fair, Peaceful Nigerian Elections

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
March 24, 2015


President Obama

Hello.  Today, I want to speak directly to you - the people of Nigeria.

Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you’ve made.  Together, you won your independence, emerged from military rule, and strengthened democratic institutions.  You’ve strived to overcome division and to turn Nigeria’s diversity into a source of strength.  You’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families and to build the largest economy in Africa.

Now you have a historic opportunity to help write the next chapter of Nigeria’s progress - by voting in the upcoming elections.  For elections to be credible, they must be free, fair and peaceful.  All Nigerians must be able to cast their votes without intimidation or fear.

So I call on all leaders and candidates to make it clear to their supporters that violence has no place in democratic elections - 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.  And when elections are free and fair, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help keep the peace, no matter who wins.


Successful elections and democratic progress 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 worked to build.  By casting your ballot, you can help secure your nation’s progress.

I’m 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.

Good words of encouragement that came from President Obama to the leaders and people of the great country of Nigeria.

The president alluded to the 200 missing girls in his remarks; one question arose in my mind when I read this. How will the elections change the equation on resolving this grave issue? My only guess is that probably it might change the political dynamics if President Goodluck Jonathan who is a Christian is voted out in favor of an Islamic candidate, since the girls were kidnapped from a predominantly Islamic province.

If a Muslim contestant wins the election and the girls are set freed, it might send a message across the country that a Muslim president is more preferable in keeping Nigeria united and ensuring national security.

What is your view on this?
jamesmcgill at 12:23PM, 2015/03/25.
Richard B. Zayzay

The Federation of Lofa Associations in the Americas (FLAA) has learned with grave concern about the prevailing situation in the Zorzor District where it is alleged that a young lady, Ms. Sianneh Gayflor, was brutally murdered by her fiancé, Mr. Abu Kamara, due to extreme jealousy. According to information gathered, the alleged murderer fled Liberia for an unknown destination. There are conflicting reports of his whereabouts, but there are strong indications that he fled to the Republic of Guinea. Due to the abrupt escape of the alleged murderer, Abu Kamara, tension has been brewing in the District where houses were burnt down by some disgruntle individuals within the Fisebu and Zorzor areas. The Federation has been informed further that road blocks were erected on the Zorzor and Fisebu Highway to impede the free flow of motorists and pedestrians. Series of arrests were made within the District and those arrested were taken to Voinjama, where they were briefly detained and released on bail pending court appearance. Uncorroborated news accounts indicate that those incarcerated were severely maltreated at the time of their arrest. The Federation is grateful for the intervention of some County officials and Legislative leadership to restore calm while the investigation is ongoing.

In view of the above and given the more than fourteen years of civil crisis in Liberia, followed by an onslaught of the deadly Ebola disease that claimed the lives of thousands of our people, we are calling on the Government of the Republic of Liberia headed by Her Excellency President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to immediately investigate the cause of the murder and the destruction of properties in the Zorzor District, and bring justice and a lasting solution to the situation. We are also calling on our Lofa Legislative Caucus, the Superintendent, district commissioners, paramount and clan chiefs to work with the government in restoring peace to the District and County. The Federation further request the Government of Liberia to do everything possible to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrator of this heinous crime. As well, we are requesting that the Government’s investigation unravel the circumstances of the harsh treatment meted out to our people in Fisebu and Zorzor during their arrest at the hands of the security forces, and those responsible be brought to justice.

To the citizens of Lofa County, particularly within the Zorzor and Fisebu areas, we are craving your indulgence in exercising restrain at this time to give the government an opportunity to conduct its investigation and subsequently release its findings for a peaceful resolution of the situation. Please note that the people of Lofa County deserve peace, and going forward we want to make sure that all citizens co-exist in tranquility and fraternal love.

Respectfully Submitted

Richard B. Zayzay
FLAA National President
Richard B. Zayzay at 04:21AM, 2015/03/29.
Heartfelt condolences go to the bereaved family of the deceased woman.

However, do you not think that it would do the Liberian public a lot of good were you to publish this very important information on the main page of the Perspective web site? I am surprised that your information is published in the area where comments are posted. Not many people visit the commentary areas as they do on the home page.

This is just a suggestion as I feel that the word will circulate swiftly if this essay was posted there.

Thanks for sharing the thoughts!!
jamesmcgill at 09:03AM, 2015/03/30.
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