Nigeria: US Cautions Against Voter Intimidation and Violence During 2023 Elections
By Joshua Samuel
Nigerians have been warned not to make statements that could incite violence, voter suppression, or intimidation and therefore taint the voting process by the US government.
The recommendation was given by Molly Phee, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, on Wednesday in Abuja at a roundtable discussion with select Nigerian journalists. Phee stated that establishing reliable polls was everyone’s responsibility. His suggestion comes just a few days before the country’s national elections in 2023.
She strongly warned individuals against engaging in post-election violence and encouraged Nigerians to have faith in the democratic process and accept the results of the popular vote.
Pee also forbade political parties and their candidates from intimidating and repressing voters. The official went on to say that her encounters with INEC officials demonstrated that, despite the current difficulties, they were ready to organise elections in the nation.
“We acknowledge that Nigeria is going through a difficult time due to the security issues, which have become more widespread in recent years, as well as the current economic difficulties, which at first, I thought were exacerbated by COVID, and are now being compounded by the implementation of the new naira policy.
“Despite the numerous difficulties, the specialists operating and supervising your electoral process have indicated to me that they are prepared for and equipped to host the elections across the nation.
“Once more, it is critical that candidates, political parties, and ordinary Nigerians shoulder responsibility for a successful election. “So that there are no instances of voter intimidation by violence or voter suppression through violence in these critical few days leading up to the elections.
And on election day, there is no violence because everyone respects and abides by the will of the Nigerian people as the winner is determined, the ballots are counted, and the results are declared. “I believe your procedure is sound. You have a track record dating back to 1999 that shows how, with each election, you grow stronger and your system advances.
And I have no doubt that you can rise to the occasion,” Phee remarked. The U.S. government, according to the assistant secretary, is still committed to helping Nigerian democracy and a peaceful transfer of power.