Nigerian Elections: U.S. decries vote buying, voter intimidation
The United States government says it is disappointed by the scale of irregularities in the Nigerian 2019 general elections.
The U.S. government said from the reports it garnered from observers groups; voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence marred the electoral process in parts of the country.
It said this in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.
It, however, urged stakeholders and security services to ensure a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful election process ahead of the Saturday supplementary governorship election and in future elections.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on March 12 announced supplementary governorship elections in states where it declared the polls inconclusive.
The states include Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau, and Sokoto. But the supplementary governorship polls will hold in only five states on Saturday due to judicial interventions.
Also in the statement, the U.S government extended its condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the election process, adding that it would continue to support the national democratic process.
”As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations.
”As the 2019 electoral cycle comes to an end, we urge all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful process, especially for the many Nigerians across the country who again will go to polls on Saturday.
”We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process for future elections.
”We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services.”
The statement stressed that the United States has no preferred candidates in the election, adding that it would remain committed to working together to achieve a mutual goal for both countries.
”The United States supports a democratic process where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results. As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate.
”We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”