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Nigerian Govt Welcomes U.S., UK Threat Against Election Riggers

Nigerian Govt Welcomes U.S., UK Threat Against Election Riggers

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has welcomed the statements from the United States and the United Kingdom, demanding a credible and peaceful election in Nigeria.

The statements also called for punitive measures against election riggers and perpetrators of electoral violence.

In separate statements issued on Thursday by the Embassy of the United States and the British High Commission in Abuja, the two countries threatened to punish anyone found guilty of either instigating violence or plotting to rig the elections.

They also pledged their commitment to ensuring free and fair elections in the country, saying the 2019 elections “is important, not only for Nigeria but for the African continent.”

In a statement issued in Ilorin on Friday, the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, said the Nigerian government is particularly delighted that the statements came after it alerted the nation to the “machinations” of some opposition elements who are working to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.

“A few days ago, we alerted the nation to the plot by the opposition to orchestrate widespread violence in the country, using insurgents and criminal elements within and outside the country.

“Their plan is to scuttle the election and then push for an interim government, having realized they can’t win free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

“The fact that those statements came after we issued our red alert, which is based on credible intelligence, shows that the international community is closely monitoring events ahead of the election.

“We urge them to keep a close tab on the desperate opposition, whose language, actions and undisguised threats are antithetical to the conduct of peaceful polls,” he said in the statement signed by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.

Government reiterates free and fair elections

Mr Mohammed said Nigerians and the international community should take seriously, the assurance of a credible and violence-free election that has been consistently given by the president, Muhammadu Buhari, “a tried-and-tested democrat and a globally-acclaimed man of integrity”.

He said the APC-led administration is very confident of victory in the forthcoming elections, adding that a party that was not so desperate as to rig election while in opposition had no business rigging election or perpetrating violence now that it is in power and is enjoying massive support from the citizenry.

The minister called on the international community to keep a close eye on those, he said, who are spending more time on a dubious strategy of scuttling the polls than campaigning to win in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful election.

“As their campaign flounders and their strategies collapse, they have resorted to seeking power by subterfuge. That’s why they are doing everything possible to discredit an election that has yet to be held by unleashing their attack dogs on INEC, the police, and the entire electoral process.

“On our part, we have confidence in the electoral process and the institutions saddled with organizing and securing the election. That’s why we have been busy campaigning vigorously across the country, attracting unprecedented, organic crowds everywhere we go.

“The party that has a history of rigging polls is well known to Nigerians. The party that has a history of using security forces to unleash violence in order to steal the people’s votes is well known to Nigerians.

“The party that organized an election that was later described as flawed by its own ‘winning’ presidential candidate is well known to Nigerians. That party is not the All Progressives Congress (APC),” he said.

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