BEVERLY HILLS, March 30, (THEWILL) – The governments of the United States and the United Kingdom say there are disturbing signs of “political interference” in the counting of votes in Nigeria’s Presidential election, which was conducted on Saturday nationwide, according to a tweet by the Associated Press.
Nigeria’s electoral commission chief, Professor Attahiru Jega, is about now in Abuja, formally collating results for the presidential election which is clearly a two-way race between incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP and retired military ruler, General Muhammadu Buhari.
Below is the Joint Statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
“Welcome the largely peaceful vote on March 28. The Nigerian people have shown a commendable determination to register their vote and choose their leaders.”
“So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process—where the votes are finally counted—may be subject to deliberate political interference. This would contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves.”
“The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom would be very concerned by any attempts to undermine the independence of the Electoral Commission (INEC), or its Chairman, Prof. Jega; or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people.”