US identifies threat to Nigeria’s 2019 elections

Posted by Deji Elumoye and Alex Enumah, Abuja | 11 January 2019 | 3,044 times

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The United States has raised the alarm that widespread vote-buying could mar Nigeria’s general elections coming up next month.

The US Deputy Ambassador, Jonathan Cohen, who spoke yesterday during a United Nations Security Council meeting on West Africa, urged politicians, civil society groups and community leaders to ensure that the election was free and fair.

Cohen said, “The United States sees a risk that widespread vote-buying could challenge the integrity of the election process.

“We are concerned about reports of intimidation and partisanship by security forces, heightened insecurity and inability of internally displaced persons or persons with disabilities to vote.”

AFP reported that the UN envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, said Boko Haram attacks had increased over the past months.

He explained that during the last week of December alone, the Islamist militants staged three attacks on army bases.

Chambas said “tensions are high” in Nigeria ahead of the vote, but that prospects for peaceful elections had brightened with the signing of an accord last month in which parties pledged to support calm and order.

Text (excluding headline) excerpted from a THISDAY report

Source: News Express

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