Lawmaker Knocks US Govt for Accepting Nigeria’s Election Results

March 3, 2023
Nigeria's election results lawmaker Jim Risch

By Adedapo Adesanya

A ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr Jim Risch, has criticised the American government for accepting the results of Nigeria’s presidential elections held on Saturday, February 25.

The election, which saw Mr Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerge as the winner, has been challenged by leading opposition parties, including the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), among others.

The lawmaker from Idaho, in a statement seen by this newspaper, said the exercise was “widely viewed as deeply flawed by election observers and many Nigerians,” noting that, “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.

“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.”

Business Post had reported that a statement from the US government has however been released regarding the election.

“The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria, President-elect Tinubu, and all political leaders following the declaration by Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the results of the February 25 presidential election.

“This competitive election represents a new period for Nigerian politics and democracy.  Each of the top three candidates was the leading vote-getter in 12 states, a remarkable first in Nigeria’s modern political era, reflecting the diversity of views that characterized the campaign and the wishes of Nigeria’s voters,” the statement said.

It also acknowledged the friction, stating that, “We understand that many Nigerians and some of the parties have expressed frustration about the manner in which the process was conducted and the shortcomings of technical elements that were used for the first time in a presidential election cycle.

“Nigerians are clearly within their rights to have such concerns and should have high expectations for their electoral processes. We join other international observers in urging INEC to improve in the areas that need the most attention ahead of the March 11 gubernatorial elections.”

“There are well-established mechanisms in place for the adjudication of electoral disputes, and we encourage any candidate or party seeking to challenge the outcome to pursue redress through those mechanisms,” the statement noted.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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