The US embassy in the Nigerian capital Abuja issued a statement last week, saying it wants to ensure fair elections in the country. Along with the United Kingdom, the United States has jointly said that the upcoming 2019 elections are vital for Nigeria, and in a bigger way, for the African continent.
The two nations have urged political parties in Nigeria to sign the peace accord, and pleaded to the aspiring candidates to stick to the laws governing the polls, and ensure free and fair 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government claims it has unearthed plans of the Opposition to stage violence in the upcoming polls. On Tuesday, while addressing governors of the 36 states of the federation, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno said that he had information about impending plans of the Opposition to create chaos in the 2019 elections.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had made a similar claim last week. He had stated that his government had knowledge that the Opposition plans violence of a large scale to disrupt the 2019 elections. The Opposition made counter claims that these are attempts by the government to subvert credibility of their leaders.
In an effort to distance itself from any controversy or bias, the US issued its statement, saying: “The United States government does not support any specific candidate or party in Nigeria’s upcoming elections. The United States supports the Nigerian democratic process itself. We support a genuinely free, fair, transparent, and peaceful electoral process.”
It also said, “We, and other democratic nations, will be paying 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.”
The Trump administration is under fire for issuing a US visa to Nigerian Presidential candidate Abubakar Atiku. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President had come to power 4 years back, riding on the anti-corruption and economic development plank. His party All Progressives Congress (APC) is unhappy about the Trump government, granting defector Atiku a US visa.
Atiku, an erstwhile APC member, and the ex-Vice President of Nigeria, has controversial credibility. He amassed huge amount of wealth in suspicious ways. Buhari’s party alleges that Atiku made his money through capital cronyism and shady business dealings. After looting the people of Nigeria, and bringing Bank PHP to bankruptcy, he took refuge in USA. He has cases of financial fraud against him, and the people of Nigeria will give their verdict on him when Atiku is back in Nigeria for the 2019 Elections.