-February 24, 2023, News and Comments
The United States President, Joe Biden, on Thursday, told Nigerians to be patient and peaceful while election officers count their votes on election day.
In a statement by the United States Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, Biden commended political parties and presidential candidates for signing the peace accord ahead of the Saturday, February 25, elections. Biden encouraged voters to come out on election day to exercise their fundamental freedom and make their voices heard.
The statement quoted the US President as saying, “I commend yesterday’s peace accord in Nigeria, signed by the political parties and candidates running in Nigeria’s presidential election on February 25.
“By signing this pledge, the parties and candidates have committed to accept the results of the election, as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, and to support a peaceful transition of power.
“Elections are a fundamental part of a functioning democracy, and all Nigerians deserve this chance to choose their future — freely and fairly. While the United States does not support any single candidate or party, we strongly support a peaceful and transparent process that reflects the will of the people of Nigeria.
“On election day, I encourage all Nigerians — no matter their religion, region, or ethnicity —to exercise this fundamental freedom and make their voices heard — including young voters, many of whom may be heading to the ballot box for the first time.
“The United States stands with the Nigerian people as they chart a path toward a more democratic, prosperous, and secure future. I appreciate President Buhari’s firm commitment that the will of the people will be respected.
“And in the coming days, I encourage voters to remain peaceful and patient as their ballots are tallied, and urge the political parties and candidates to live up to their pledge.”
Meanwhile, the United States, on Thursday, donated $25m to support Nigeria in conducting free, fair and credible election.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, made this known during a round-table chat with journalists in Abuja.
Leonard commended Nigeria for upholding a peaceful, and consistent democracy, adding that the US had worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the forthcoming election.
She stressed “So, we have long been involved in democracy and governance through programmes in Nigeria and probably we are spending about 25 million dollars with particular reference to this election.
“We are doing many things. First of all, we are sponsoring and independent observation mission with some very high-powered delegation, US veterans, they are independent of us but we have played a role in facilitating.
“We have worked with INEC itself, on sort of the technical aspects, for example, we trained some 1,800 technical workers on how to trouble shoot the BVAS and those people in their turns have trained hundreds of thousands of other people.
“So that come election day, if there is any trouble with the technology, people will be around to know how to fix it.
“I think we have had a well-rounded interaction regarding this election and again we are really looking forward to see the peaceful elections.”
She said every Nigerian has the responsibility of ensuring a peaceful process, urging leaders to take their commitments seriously.
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