The United States and United Kingdom governments have issued a joint statement expressing concern over political interference in Nigeria’s presidential elections held last Saturday across the country. The joint statement, signed by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, also expressed satisfaction with what it described as the largely peaceful atmosphere that marked the polls.
The joint statement read:
“Our governments welcome the largely peaceful vote on March 28. The Nigerian people have shown a commendable determination to register their vote and choose their leaders.
“So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process—where the votes are finally counted—may be subject to deliberate political interference. This would contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves.
“The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom would be very concerned by any attempts to undermine the independence of the Electoral Commission (INEC), or its Chairman, Professor Jega, or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people.”