March 18 guber poll: US threatens sanctions over voter intimidation, violence, killings that characterized electoral process

by Per Second News
2 minutes read

The United States has condemned in strong terms the nationwide voter intimidation, increased violence and killings that marred the March 18 Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday.

In a statement obtained by Persecondnews on Tuesday in Abuja, the U.S. noted that there was increased violence in Lagos, Kano and other parts of the country.

It, however, said the March 18 elections appeared to have had “significant operational improvements as polling stations generally opened on time and most results were visible on an electronic viewing platform in a timely manner.

The U.S. lauded stakeholders who spoke against the violence and intimidation unleashed on voters, calling it “a sign of respect to democratic process.”

“Nigeria carried out the second round of its electoral process with gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18.

“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 commend all Nigerian political actors, religious and community leaders, youth, and citizens who have chosen to reject and speak out against such violence and inflammatory language, affirming Nigerians’ commitment to and respect for the democratic process,” the statement said.

The U.S., however, threatened to sanction perpetrators and sponsors while calling on Nigerian authorities to probe reports on election violence.

“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.

“The United States renews its call for any challenges to election results to go through established legal processes, which must not be interfered with.

“We further call for Nigeria’s people to work together as they participate in and continue to strengthen the country’s vibrant democracy,” U.S. said.

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