The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has responded to the statement by the United States on the 2019 general election in Nigeria.
The US claimed it was disappointed by the low turnout of voters, as well as the high level of military interference in the election.
The statement released by the US read: “As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate.
“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations. We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services.
“As the 2019 electoral cycle comes to an end, we urge all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful process, especially for the many Nigerians across the country who again will go to polls on Saturday.
“We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process for future elections. We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”
However, Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary of the commission, stated that the election was hugely successful.
He also said that the election is “by no means perfect” as there can be “no country in the world where general elections are perfect from the beginning to the end.”
He continued: “As one of our important partners, the Independent National Electoral Commission appreciates the United States’ interest and support for Nigeria’s electoral process.
“However, there is no country in the world where general elections are perfect from the beginning to the end. In our reckoning, coupled with various reports released by local and international observers so far, the 2019 general elections were a success, but by no means perfect.”
He noted that INEC would continue to do its part to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
He also urged major players to play by the rules and shun electoral violence as there is “no political office is worth the precious life of any human being".