The US Department of State said this during a briefing on the first trip of Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, to Africa.

It said the election is its priority in view of the country’s strategic position in the African region.

The department expressed hope that African countries currently with democratically elected governments will not have transitions through undemocratic means.

“As we look at the 2019 elections, obviously Nigeria, though it’s not this year, that really is a major priority focus, because that’s going to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050,” the state department said.

It has really very complex political issues and ethnic, tribal and security issues.

And that’s an area that we really are focusing on; on how to do a peaceful and democratic transition.

But more important is how to hold governments accountable to the people.”

The US played a major role in the 2015 elections. John Kerry, former secretary of state, visited the country shortly before the election.

He met with former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari, who were the leading candidates in the election.


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