US To Sanction Individuals That Undermined Elections In Nigeria

The United States mission in Nigeria has disclosed plans to consider “all available actions” against individuals complicit in undermining the just concluded elections in Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement the mission issued on Tuesday noting that it is “it is deeply disturbed” by cases of voter intimidation and use of ethnically charged rhetoric during the gubernatorial and house of assembly elections held on March 18.

It also urged the federal government and other relevant bodies to ensure those that participated in voter suppression were duly punished

Election conduct

The statement read, “The United States is deeply troubled by the disturbing acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during those polls in Lagos, Kano, and other states.

“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 call on Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice any individuals found to have ordered or carried out efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voting during the election process.

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“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 US said the March 18 elections recorded “significant operational improvements” when compared to the presidential and national assembly elections held on February 25.

It added, “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.”

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

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