Presidential Election: U.S urges Nigerians to remain united
Mnena Iyorkegh, Abuja
The US Ambassador to Nigeria Mrs Mary Beth Leonard, has urged Nigerians not to let differences divide them, but allow the legally established process for resolving challenges to the election take its course for the good of the country.
Mrs Leonard made the call in a statement issued by the Embassy in Abuja on Sunday.
“The people of Nigeria demonstrated their dedication to democracy on February 25, but there are many angry and frustrated Nigerians as well as many who are celebrating victories they believe were hard-fought and well-earned.”
“We commend Mr. Obi and Mr. Abubakar for their recent statements committing to take this path, and Mr. Tinubu, who INEC declared the president-elect under Nigeria’s electoral framework, for acknowledging their right to do so” the Ambassador stated.
Ambassador Leonard, explained that the electoral process as a whole on February 25 failed to meet Nigerians’ expectations.
“We recognize that Nigerians want that positive trend to continue, including through the use of new technology intended to make the process of reporting results more transparent. We thus reiterate our call on INEC to address promptly the challenges that can be resolved ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial elections, and to undertake a broader review of the problems that transpired during the last elections and what can be done to fix them. In all cases, INEC should share with the Nigerian public information about the actions it is taking”.
Leonard while commending Nigeria for its Democratic growth, highlighted some of the results from this past election.
“As I said numerous times prior to the elections, Nigeria has accomplished much in just the two-plus decades since the return to democracy, and a gradual improvement in the quality of its elections in that time constitutes one of those accomplishments.”
“In more than half of the states – 20 – the winning candidate represented a different party than that of the incumbent governor. Twelve of these states are led by APC governors. For the first time, four presidential candidates won at least one state, and the top three each won 12 states based on these initial results.”
“In the National Assembly elections, even with results still incomplete, we already know that changes are afoot: seven sitting governors lost in their attempts to win election to the Assembly; the Labor Party has won at least seven seats in the Senate; the NNPP has won at least 11 seats in the House of Representatives”.
“The Nigerian people have made clear their desire for responsive and inclusive governance, and we strongly support their ability to express that desire. The United States and Nigeria are the two largest presidential democracies in the world, and longtime partners. As Nigeria goes through these next weeks and months, we stand with you,” she concluded.