US President, Barack Obama, posted a video message on YouTube on Monday, urging Nigerians to go to the polls on Saturday and cast their ballots peacefully.
Below is the transcript of that message. You can also watch the video after it.
Today, I wanna speak directly to you, the people of Nigeria. Nigeria is a great nation, and you can be proud of the progress you have made, together you’ve won your independence, emerged from military rule and strengthened democratic institutions, you’ve strived to overcome divisions and turn Nigerians diversity into a source of strength, you’ve worked hard to improve the lives of your families, and built 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, it 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.
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 their views and to reject the voices of those who call for violence.
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 they 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 nations progress.
I’m told that there is a saying in the country, to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done
Today, I urge all Nigerians from all religions or ethnic groups and all regions to come together and keep Nigeria one. In this task of advancing the security prosperity and human rights of all Nigerians, you will continue to have a friend and a partner in the United States of America.