2019: US pledges support for credible polls, calls for issue based campaign

The United States, US has pledged its support for Nigeria to have credible, peaceful and transparent elections in 2019 so as to consolidate the country’s democracy.

US also called on political parties, candidates and their supporters to embark on issue based campaigns that project policies and programmes that would enhance the socioeconomic advancement of the country and should avoid hated speech.

Public Affairs Section of the US Mission in Nigeria gave this indications in a statement on the signing of peace accord for the 2019 general elections by presidential candidates of political parties.

The statement warmly congratulated the presidential candidates and parties who have signed the Peace Accord for the 2019 Presidential election and all the advocates for peace and democracy who have worked together to achieve this important result.

It noted that the peace accord is a great step towards the goal shared by all Nigerians of national elections that are free, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful, as achieving the goal is critical to the credibility and effectiveness of the next government, and it is essential to advance Nigeria’s unity, prosperity, justice and security.

US recalled that, “in 2015, an identically worded Peace Accord played a vital role in a democratic electoral process. We expect all parties and leaders to ensure that this new Accord will be honored just as faithfully and therefore have an equally positive effect on the 2019 election.

“We note that, for elections to be free and fair in 2019, the campaign period already underway must itself go forward on a level playing field and be a fair and transparent process.

“Campaigns enriched by positive ideas and actions will unite Nigerians in a common democratic debate, even as they differ by advocating for competing candidates.  We urge all Nigerian candidates, party members, civil society groups and citizens to speak out for policies that advance the good of all Nigerians and speak out against violence, misinformation, and hate speech.

“Finally, we reiterate our strong support for the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), and for all those Nigerian citizens, public servants, and civil society organizations who will together facilitate peaceful, credible, and transparent elections”.

James Kwen, Abuja

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