The President of the International Republican Institute, (IRI), Daniel Twining has urged Nigerians to ensure that 2019 general elections are competitive, transparent and non- violent.
Twining gave this urge when he led a high level delegation to pay a courtesy visit to National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the party’s secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.
The IRI President who said he was making his first trip to Africa as the Institute’s President, said his visit underscored the important and constructive relationship the Institute has with the APC.
Odigie-Oyegun received the IRI delegation in company of the Party’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Lawali Shuaibu; National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni; National Vice Chairman (North East), Comrade Mustapha Salihu and National Disability Leader, Misbahu Lawan Didi.
The IRI delegation included the Institute’s Regional Director for Africa, John Tomaszewski; Country Director, Mr. Sentel Barnes; Resident Programme Officer, Husna Hassan and Programme Officer, Sunday Alao.
The APC National Chairman thanked the IRI for its support for the party’s activities and strengthening democracy in the country. Odigie-Oyegun particularly referenced IRI’s support for the party which culminated in the capacity-building workshop for the Party’s state publicity secretaries and the Institute’s effort for the inclusion of marginalised group in politics and party structures in the country.
Speaking to journalists after the close-door meeting, the IRI President said: “We are here to discuss how to strengthen the Nigerian democracy, help to support issue-based politics, inclusion of women, minorities and other groups in the country’s politics to make democracy stronger. Democracy is never done, the work needs to continue everyday to improve in America, Nigeria and every country. so we are here to help and partner.”
On IRI’s interest in the 2019 elections, the IRI President said: “Nigeria is really the most important country in sub Saharan Africa, it’s a leader. Its development and growth will change the world. We want to be here working with our friends here to support that. We have a great partnership with the APC leadership, we have been working with them for years. So we are looking forward to the next phase and working with them in many other states.”