Edo Election: We’re concerned with allegations of interference by security forces – US

The US government said Saturday it would seem security forces were taking sides in the unfolding election process in Edo state where tension is rising after policemen took over the state house of assembly.

The strange action by the police is believed to have been enabled by the tacit support of the federal attorney general Abubakar Malami.

In a statement the US said, “We are concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in Edo State and are disappointed with the role played by some political actors in the state.

“We are especially concerned with allegations of interference by security forces in political matters, which we will continue to monitor closely in the run up to gubernatorial elections in the state in September.”

Elections are planned in Edo state for next month when incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki of the PDP will slug it out with his APC counterpart. The US government is concerned that there could be a deterioration of peace in the state, opening the door to anarchy.

Obaseki is widely popular in the state but there is growing belief his predecessor and former chairman of the ruling party will seek to use state machinery to subvert the will of the people.

Here is the full statement of the US government..

“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow political developments ahead of off-cycle elections in the country. The United States supports a democratic process where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results, and does not favor any party or candidate.

“We are concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in Edo State and are disappointed with the role played by some political actors in the state. We are especially concerned with allegations of interference by security forces in political matters, which we will continue to monitor closely in the run up to gubernatorial elections in the state in September.

“As we approach the 2020 off-cycle elections in Edo and Ondo, we urge all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful process. We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process.

“We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

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