Monday, February 17, 2014

Nigeria wants dialogue, free and fair elections

Nigeria wants dialogue, free and fair elections

The position of the US government in regards to next year's presidential election was made known by the US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, in Abuja.

She expressed hope that her government’s continued electoral assistance and dialogue would give the needed support to the Nigerian citizens who, she said, deserved elections that would reflect their will. The general election has been scheduled for valentine's day February 14, 2015.

“We also have confidence that in 2015, elections in every polling unit in the country will be safe,” she said, while urging the electorate to hold politicians, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the media, judiciary and security agencies accountable for free and fair elections.
The Assistant Secretary of State, who was visiting the country for the third time since her appointment last year, recalled that in the run-up to Nigeria’s 2011 elections, the US and the United Kingdom (UK) contributed $31.3 million to strengthen the electoral management body and the civil society groups.

“We are proud to support the great electoral success you achieved as a nation and as a people. We stand with the Nigerian people who say loudly that they will not accept electoral tampering, overheated rhetoric, vote selling or buying and violence.

“I have heard my Nigerian friends say repeatedly that anyone who engages in such elections chicanery should be held accountable and they are right. I encourage Nigeria’s National Assembly to pass a legislation that will establish electoral offences tribunals, a legislation that President Goodluck Jonathan proposed when he was vice president.

“We hope that our continued electoral assistance will give the utmost support to the Nigerian people because they deserve nothing less than elections that reflect their will,” she said.

In Nigeria, Nigerians wants a free and fair election next year. What are the challenges to free and fair elections in Nigeria?


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