The United States (U.S.) government has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a peaceful election in the state on Sept. 19.
This came just about a week after the U.S government has announced that it has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerian individuals who were reported to have been previously involved in electoral misconduct in certain states.
The U.S. also applauded the people of the state and security agencies for the non-violent poll, adding that they have reinforced democracy in the country.
“Congratulations to the people of Edo State on a credible and peaceful governorship election. We thank the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian security services on the positive role they played in the election and commend their work in strengthening Nigeria’s democracy.
“We recognize the critical role that Gov. Godwin Obaseki and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu played in promoting peace. We also thank our civil society partners for their invaluable work in upholding democracy and accountability in this election,” the U.S. said.
However, it condemned the reported cases of fierceness and buying of votes, as well as the alleged bullying of voters and civil society spectators during the voting process. Moreover, the U.S. also urged all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security agencies to improve the polling process during the forthcoming Ondo State governorship election scheduled for October 10.
“The United States remains concerned with reports of some violence that did emerge during the election, and reports of vote-buying and intimidation of both voters and civil society domestic observers.
“We will continue to encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services to improve the electoral process in the upcoming Ondo State governorship election.
“As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both countries,” added the U.S.