Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on Nigeria’s election, which was rescheduled for March 28:

“More than 70 million Nigerians head to the polls this weekend to decide what appears to be a neck-and-neck presidential election.  I observed Nigeria’s historic election in 1999, and have felt that sort of tension first-hand.  The difference in 2015 is that Boko Haram is determined to mar election day with its killing.  It’s good that the two top candidates have pledged to respect the outcome and refrain from violence.  The winner will have to immediately deal with major economic challenges and the brutal violence and destabilization of Boko Haram.

“But this election is about more than the future of Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy. A fair election in Nigeria this weekend would send an important message throughout the continent about the strength of democratic values.”

Note: Earlier this week, the House unanimously passed H. Res. 53, a resolution introduced by Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), which condemns the cowardly attacks on innocent men, women, and children in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram and urges a peaceful and credible national election.