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2023 Election: US demands prosecution of everyone involved in intimidation of voters, suppression of voting
 
From: News Editor
Tue, 21 Mar 2023   ||   Nigeria,
 

The United States has called on Nigeria government to bring to justice everyone that was involved in violence including intimidation of voters and suppression of voting during the last election.

It also said it was considering taking all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.

There has been wide condemnation of actions of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, and the Chairman of Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo, who were caught on video directing hate speeches at particular group of electorate before the last gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections.

A statement on Tuesday by the United States Embassy in Nigeria read: “We call on Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice any individual found to have ordered or carried out efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voting during the election process.

“The United States likewise will consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.”

The statement while recalling that Nigeria carried out the second round of its electoral process with gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18, stated that the United States was deeply troubled by the disturbing acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during those polls in Lagos, Kano, and other states.

It added that: “Members of the U.S. diplomatic mission observed the elections in Lagos and elsewhere and witnessed some of these incidents first-hand. The use of ethnically charged rhetoric before, during, and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos was particularly concerning. We commend all Nigerian political actors, religious and community leaders, youth and citizens who have chosen to reject and speak out against such violence and inflammatory language, affirming Nigerians’ commitment to and respect for the democratic process.

“We call on Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice any individual found to have ordered or carried out efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voting during the election process. The United States likewise will consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.

“Following the February 25 national elections, the United States joined other international observers in urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve voting processes and technical elements that experienced flaws in that voting round. The March 18 elections appear to have had significant operational improvements, as polling stations generally opened on time and most results were visible on an electronic viewing platform in a timely manner.

“The United States renews its call for any challenges to election results to go through established legal processes, which must not be interfered with. We further call for Nigeria’s people to work together as they participate in and continue to strengthen the country’s vibrant democracy.”

 

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