Post Views: 382 The governments of the United States and the UK, in separate statements on Thursday, reaffirmed support for Nigeria’s democratic proce...
The governments of the United States and the UK, in separate statements on Thursday, reaffirmed support for Nigeria’s democratic process and the success of the general elections, beginning with the Presidential poll on February 16, 2019.
Both statements said their governments do not support any specific candidate or party in Nigeria’s upcoming elections, expressing confidence in the ability of the country’s citizens to choose their leaders in an environment free from hate speech and insecurity.
Specifically, a statement issued by the US Embassy in Abuja, noted the importance of the elections, “not only for Nigeria, but for the African continent.”
The U.S expressed support for the Nigerian democratic process and indeed “a genuinely free, fair, transparent, and peaceful electoral process,” it warned that it would not “hesitate to consider consequences – including visa restrictions – for those found to be responsible for election-related violence or undermining the democratic process. Under U.S. immigration law, certain violations may also lead to restrictions on family members,” it stressed, declaring that its government “
The UK in its statement through the British High Commission in Abuja, reminded all Nigerians that there will be consequences for individuals who attempt to compromise the electoral process, including barring them from entry into the UK, or even prosecution under international law.
It promised to deploy an extensive observation mission for the forthcoming elections, including coordinating with the EU’s Election Observation Mission. Our monitors will in particular be looking out for any attempts to encourage or use violence to influence the elections, including on social media.
The U.S also promised close attention to actions of individuals who interfere in the democratic process or instigate violence against the civilian population before, during, or after the elections, just as other democratic nations.
The country also welcomed signing of peace agreements by the various candidates to indicate their commitment to a peaceful electoral process.
The UK, reaffirmed strong support for free, fair and peaceful elections in Nigeria, 23 days to the Presidential and National Assembly elections and 37 days to the Gubernatorial and State Assembly polls.
To ensure a free and fair poll, the UK pledged continued significant support to Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Nigerian civil society to ensure delivery of credible elections, besides regular engagements with actors across the political spectrum to encourage respect for electoral rules and to ensure an atmosphere of peace and calm.
“The UK is a friend and partner of Nigeria. We hope our continued support will play a role in helping Nigeria take a further step towards consolidating the progress made since democracy returned in 1999,” it added.