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Wednesday, 22 March 2023

US condemns voter suppression in Lagos Nigeria, ready to sanction perpetrators

The United States Mission in Nigeria has reacted to the disturbing events recorded during gubernatorial and state assembly elections on March 18.

A statement on Tuesday expressed deep concern by violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place in Lagos, Kano and other states.

It noted that members of its diplomatic mission observed the elections in Lagos and elsewhere and witnessed some of the incidents first-hand.

The American embassy said the use of ethnically charged rhetoric before, during, and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos “was particularly concerning.”

The Mission hailed political actors, religious and community leaders, youth, and citizens who spoke against violence and inflammatory language, and their commitment to the democratic process.

The U.S. charged 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.

The government said it would consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the elections.

The U.S. recalled joining other international observers in urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve voting processes and technical elements experienced during the February 25 poll.

The statement urged those aggrieved with results of the general elections to go through established legal processes, “which must not be interfered with.”

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