• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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US calls for prosecution of election violence culprits

US mission

The United States, on Tuesday, called on authorities in Nigeria to bring election violence perpetrators to justice. The country also reiterated that it will impose visa restrictions on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.

The United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, in a statement issued by the Public Affairs Section on Tuesday, in Abuja, stated that the country 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”

The US noted that Nigeria had carried out the second round of its electoral process with gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18, but expressed concerns over the acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during the polls.

Read also: Tinubu calls for end of ethnic rivalry caused by election

“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.

The US Mission in Nigeria, while calling on the Nigerian government to bring the individuals responsible for such acts of violence to Justice and hold them accountable for their action, promised to impose visa restriction on the individuals.

The United States also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to improve on the voting process, even as it noted a remarkable operational improvement in the March 18 election.

The Mission however, commended religious leaders, youths and political actors, who spoke out against the ills perpetrated, while affirming Nigerians’ commitment to and respect for democracy.

“ 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 individuals 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”.