U.S Congress member blames INEC for “prematurely pronouncing a winner” of Nigeria’s Presidential Election
By Chido Nwangwu
Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and USAfricaonline.com, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet.
The announcement by Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the candidate of the ruling party APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as “President-elect” and winner of the February 25, 2023 election continues to attract local and international reaction. U.S member of Congress Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has released the following statement on the recent presidential election in Nigeria:
“I am deeply concerned over the delays and serious allegations of irregularities, including fraud, by multiple independent observers in the recent Nigerian presidential election.
I urge full transparency and swift action from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), along with a full accounting of allegations of voter suppression, delayed poll openings, the failure of the new electronic voting system, and a sharp decline in turnout.
Democracy rests on free, fair, and transparent elections. When elections are not fair, open, and transparent, it’s disenfranchising and shatters faith in government. Nigeria’s low turnout already suggests a lack of faith in the country’s democratic institutions. It is critical that the process plays out correctly.
Allowing electoral challenges to go through the system is a key part of a functioning democratic process. It is also a way to help build confidence and avoid protracted conflict.
The international community should support an independent and transparent process and wait until these challenges are resolved before prematurely pronouncing a winner.”
See related USAfricaonline.com reporting and commentaries on this issue — including where U.S Senator Jim Risch (Republican of Idaho) stated that “it is disappointing to see” Biden “rush to embrace… deeply flawed” Nigerian election results.
He noted that: “The ongoing electoral process in Nigeria is widely viewed as deeply flawed by election observers and many Nigerians. It is disappointing to see the administration rush to embrace the result while the full picture of what occurred during this electoral process is yet to be seen. I’ve expressed similar concerns related to other areas of our relationship with the Nigerian government. I worry this rush to judgement will undermine our ability to be an effective partner to all Nigerians, especially given their longstanding desire for democracy.”
Ahead of the March 11, 2023 elections of State governors and Houses of Assembly, Risch cautioned: “With Nigeria heading into state-level elections in just a few days, it is important that the United States be more concerned with supporting the Nigerian people and their democratic aspirations than embracing the Nigerian government.”
Risch, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the statement on March 2, 2023. Follow USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com Publisher on Twitter @Chido247
Mr. President, Where’s our money and the state of our union?
There was nothing like low turn out of voters. There was an incredible massive turn out of voters mainly by the youths who saw it as an avenue through which to ventilate their anger on unpopular government policies over the yrs, coupled with the abortion by government of the October 2020 endsars revolution. Unemployment and the eight month ASUU strike.
So, the ruling government, shacken by the youths resolve to create a new Nigeria of their dream, employed every tricks out of the books; votes and voters suppression, intimidation, outright attacks, late arrival of electoral officers, cancellation and mutilation of results
@ Mr Prince what abtism does not invalidate the congress ladies point which happens to be opinion of a majority of Nigerians .. which we all agree to be Democracy
Keep on playing Christian politics. Have you dealt with Trump’s allegation of fraud in your elections? . He has not accepted the results. Deal with that.
I totally agree with Omar that there were no reasons for the rush in congratulatory message to the controversial winner, even as our country is in a state of mourning. Why is Nigeria not full of celebrations if the results represented the wishes Nigerians. Until the USA begins to see our problems as their problems, we will not be seeing the USA problems as ours. This has got to stop. Nigerians have a right to choose their President and the USA can only be promoters of democracy by standing with the Nigerian people and their choices.
I agreed completely with notable voices and personalities, democracy is about allowing transparent and credible process to take its course, the Nigerian electrol body did not follow the rules set down by the electrol law, a complete violation, the court must do the needful to annual the presidential election and declare for another presidential election to avoid political chaos and breakdown of law and order. Dr jennings okey ekeanyanwu center for contemporary issues and policy studies Abuja Nigeria.