US to Sanction Those Who ‘Undermined’ Polls in Nigeria

The United States Government has said it will sanction those who undermined the just concluded elections in Nigeria.

The US disclosed it was deeply disturbed by cases of voter intimidation and the use of ethnically charged rhetoric during the gubernatorial and house of assembly elections held on March 18.

The United States Mission in Nigeria thus called on the Federal Government and other relevant agencies to ensure those offenders faced the law.

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It 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.

“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.”

While the Presidential and National Assembly polls were held on February 25, the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were conducted on March 18.

The outcomes, however, were greeted with debates from several groups.

Some groups including the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) have also berated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the conduct of the 2023 presidential poll, describing it as fraudulent.

It is no longer news that following the declaration of Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the presidential poll, opposition parties had called for the cancellation of the exercise.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Labour Party, and two other parties had already filed petitions at the election tribunal to challenge the result in court.

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