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The United States government has released an official statement on the alleged support of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming elections.
Recalled that the ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) claimed that US government led by President Donald Trump is technically rooting support for Atiku, Buhari’s major challenger in the crucial election.
But in a statement, the country said it is untrue, claim made by Festus Keyamo, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari reelection campaign that US is protecting and seemingly supporting Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Keyamo was quoted as saying that Stuart Symington, the US ambassador to Nigeria, “seems to be saying that only a PDP victory will be evidence of a fair election”.
US had earlier pointed out that peace in Nigeria during and after the election is paramount to her continued partnership with Nigeria, saying the country’s over $1 billion aid to Nigeria will continue, no matter who wins the elections on Saturday.
The statement reads:
“The United States Embassy in Nigeria wishes to reiterate unequivocally that we are not taking sides in Nigeria’s election. We do not support any party or candidate,” the statement read.
“We support a level playing field and the democratic process. That is the bedrock principle of our Government’s advocacy on democratic elections.
“In the final run-up to the Feb. 16 vote, fake news and rumours are operating in overdrive. But it must be repeated: we are not taking sides.
“This is Nigeria’s election and the citizens of Nigeria will decide who will lead their nation. It is important for the future of every Nigerian and it is important that every Nigerian contribute to making it a democratic, peaceful, free and fair process.
“This will ensure that all Nigerians see the results as credible, and they accept them. This will empower Nigeria’s democracy going forward, as did the elections of 2015.”
Position of U.S on Aid To Nigeria
The US stated that no matter who wins the election, its contributions to Nigeria will remain, stating that America is an enduring friend of Nigeria.
“The United States is Nigeria’s long-term and enduring friend. We provide more than $1 billion in assistance and help save more than 2 million lives of Nigerians each year through our health and humanitarian assistance. This will not change. We are Nigeria’s good partner, and this will continue after this democratic election – no matter who wins.
“This election is Nigeria’s, but it is also important for Nigeria’s neighbours and for the world. Nigeria has long played a great leadership role in the region and beyond as a force for democratic stability.
“The credible electoral results of 2015 empowered Nigeria to play that role. The United States looks forward to a similar result this week.
“We support the democratic process and the work of the Independent National Electoral Commission in managing the elections. We call on every Nigerian citizen, official, party member, and the security forces to peacefully support Nigeria’s democratic process in accordance with Nigerian law.
“The United States welcomed the signing of Peace Accords by the candidates for President and other offices. Now is the time to grow that peace by ensuring all get the message and put it into action so that both the voting and the aftermath are peaceful and fully respect the democratic process.
“Peace benefits all Nigerians and peace is the responsibility of every citizen as you work together to ensure your elections are free, fair, transparent, and credible.”
Recalled that former U.S President Bill Clinton was billed to visit Nigeria for peace accord between Atiku and Buhari, but later announced the cancellation of his trip due to the tension on ground.