The United States denounced the heightened violence and voter intimidation that tainted the Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday March 18.
During the gubernatorial election across 28 States of the federation, several reports of violence, threats especially in Lagos have been trending on social media.
In a statement on Tuesday made available to journalists, the U.S commended stakeholders who spoke against the violence and intimidation melted on voters, adding that it was a sign of respect to democratic process.
The statement read: “This was contained in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday.
The United States is deeply troubled by the disturbing acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during those polls in Lagos, Kano, and other states. Members of the U.S. diplomatic mission observed the elections in Lagos and elsewhere and witnessed some of these incidents first-hand.
“The use of ethnically charged rhetoric before, during, and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos was particularly concerning.
“We commend all Nigerian political actors, religious and community leaders, youth, and citizens who have chosen to reject, and speak out against such violence and inflammatory language, affirming Nigerians’ commitment to and respect for the democratic process.”
The U.S, also threatened to sanction perpetrators, while calling on Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice . “We call on 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 United States likewise will consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
“The United States renews its call for any challenges to election results to go through established legal processes, which must not be interfered with. We further call for Nigeria’s people to work together as they participate in, and continue to strengthen the country’s vibrant democracy.”