Ahead of the September governorship poll in Edo State, the United States has expressed serious disappointment with the role being played by some political actors and security forces in the state.
The U.S. government said it is also concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in the South-south state which has recently fallen to the opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Persecondnews had reported the defection of Gov. Godwin Obaseki from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in June following his “disqualification” by his estranged godfather-led National Working Committee of the party through a Primary Election Screening Committee.
The ex-godfather and immediate past governor of the state, Adams Oshiomhole, who was sacked as the party’s National Chairman in July, has vowed to work against his re-election.
Bloody clashes have been trailing the electioneering of both parties ahead of the poll.
Last week, Gov. Obaseki’s visit to the Benin monarch at his palace was marred with violence as some APC sympathisers stormed the palace.
It, therefore, called for free, fair and credible elections where the will of the Nigerians would be reflected in the results.
“The U.S. supports a democratic process where the will of the people is reflected in the results, and does not favour any party or candidate.
“We are concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in Edo and are disappointed with the role played by some political actors in the state.
“We are especially concerned with allegations of interference by security forces in political matters, which we will continue to monitor closely in the run up to gubernatorial elections in September.
“As we approach the 2020 off-cycle elections in Edo and Ondo, we urge all stakeholders to work toward a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful process.
“We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties and the security services to continue to improve the electoral process. We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent,” U.S. said in a statement issued by its Mission in Abuja.
As long-time friends, the U.S. pledged its support to Nigeria’s democratic process, saying it will continue to follow political developments ahead of off-cycle elections in the country.
As a democratic partner of Nigeria, we remain committed to working together to achieve mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both countries, it said.