Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

U.S. worry over military involvement, low-voter turnout in Nigeria’ elections

The United States has again expressed its worry over the interference by security forces in Nigeria’s electoral process, as well as the low voter turnout during the governorship and state assembly elections.

The worry is coming barely 48 hours to the conduct of supplementary elections in some states of the federation for governorship and house of assembly seats.

A statement by the embassy in Abuja reads: “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. 

“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. 

“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.

“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 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.” 

 

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