Elections: We have no preferred candidate, US embassy replies Keyamo

February 12th, 2019

The United States Embassy in Nigeria on Tuesday dismissed allegations by the Buhari Campaign Organization that it has given tacit support to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, ahead of Saturday’s presidential polls.

The BCO spokesman, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), had, on Monday, alleged that the utterances of the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, The European Unionand other countries, seemed to give tacit support for Atiku Abubakar.

However, the US embassy maintained that it was not supporting anyone, even as it called on Nigerians to be wary of fake news and rumours as the elections draw closer.

The statement reads in part, “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. 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.”

The embassy reminded Nigerians that the US provides $1bn in aid to Nigeria and directly helps at least two million people.

“We provide more than $1bn in assistance and help, save more than two 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.

Continuing, the statement noted, “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.”

While reiterating that the fate of Nigeria remains in the hands of its citizens, the US said it would continue to support Nigeria’s democracy.

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