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Britain, America Warn Against Manipulation Of Election Results
The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States have issued a joint statement addressing the yet to be concluded general elections and warning against political interference in the final collation process.
In the statement dated March 30, the two nations commended the Nigerian people for the determination to choose their leaders.
“Our governments welcome the largely peaceful vote on 28 March. 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,” the statement read.
The two countries noted that such interference would be a major contravention of 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, Prof Jega; or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people,” they further noted.
The President of the United States, Barak Obama, had addressed the Nigerian people in a video message about 10 days earlier, in which he urged the electorate to remain committed to free, fair and credible elections while encouraging them to vote for leaders who will be committed to working for a united and secure nation.
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also paid visits to the leading candidate contesting for presidency in the polls- the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate Muhammadu Buhari.