The United States government says it is deeply troubled by the disturbing acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during the governorship and states Houses of Assembly polls in Lagos, Kano, and other states.
A statement by the US embassy in Abuja indicates that Members of the U.S. diplomatic mission observed the elections in Lagos and elsewhere and witnessed some of these incidents first-hand.
It says the use of ethnically charged rhetoric before, during, and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos was particularly concerning.
It 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 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
It adds that the United States 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 while calling on Nigerians to work together as they participate in and continue to strengthen the country’s vibrant democracy.
Reporting by Hamza Alkali; Editing by Julian Osamoto