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United States expresses disappointments over 2019 general elections. INEC reacts, says the election was a success

United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington

The United States of America in its reaction to the 2019 general elections said that it is disappointed over the low voter turnout and reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, electoral violence and evident interference in electoral process by security forces.

“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate.

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote-buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations.

“We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission and the security services,” the US Embassy stated in Abuja on Thursday.

The US further urged all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, credible, peaceful and transparent supplementary election on March 23, adding that the US had no preferred candidate.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) however in its reply said that there could never be any perfect election anywhere in the world.

Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, noted that no country in the world could conduct a perfect election and the US observations were not enough to conclude the 2019 general election was not a success.

“As one of our important partners, the Independent National Electoral Commission appreciates the United States’ interest and support for Nigeria’s electoral process.

“However, there is no country in the world where general elections are perfect from the beginning to the end. In our reckoning, coupled with various reports released by local and international observers so far, the 2019 general elections were a success, but by no means perfect.

“There are lessons to be learnt and there is room for improvement. The commission will continue to do its best to deliver credible elections with the hope that the major players will appreciate the importance of playing by the rules and ultimately accept that no political office is worth the precious life of any human being. All is vanity.”

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