US condemns ethnically charged rhetoric, violent voter intimidation, crackdown in Lagos and other states, considers visa restrictions for culprits
The US diplomatic mission to Nigeria, which disclosed in a statement on Tuesday, March 21, said its members observed the use of ethnically-based rhetoric before, during and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos.
The statement further said that the United States will consider visa restrictions for those suspected of being responsible or complicit in undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
“Nigeria completed 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 have taken place during these polls in Lagos, Kano and other states,” the statement read.
“Members of the US 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 of particular concern.
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 the commitment and respect of Nigerians to the democratic process.
“We call on the Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice anyone who ordered or led efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voting during the electoral process.
Likewise, the United States will consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, against those suspected of being responsible for or complicit in undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
“After the February 25 national elections, the United States joined other international observers in urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve the voting processes and technical elements that suffered during this election. ballot.
The March 18 elections appear to have seen 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 United States renews its call that any challenges to election results go through established legal processes, which must not be obstructed. We further call on the people of Nigeria to work together as they participate in and continue to strengthen the vibrant democracy of the country,”