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2019: The world expects credible, fair elections from Nigeria — US Ambassador 

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Tasks Nigerian govt, citizens on love, togetherness

•Says no election is more important to the world in Feb’19 than Nigerian

Senator Iroegbu and Godsgift Onyedinefu 

The Ambassador United states of America (USA) to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has called on Nigeria government and citizens to deliver a credible, fair and transparent 2019 elections, saying the world expects nothing less.

Symington gave this charge in Abuja on Tuesday, at the Peace and Security Network (PSN) Third Confab Series with the theme: “Towards 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Securitization of the Electoral Process and the Prevention of Violence”.

;L-R United State Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Stuart Symington; Major General Felix Agugo; National Coordinator Peace and Security Network, Adeolu Adewumi; Country Director Mercy Corps Nigeria Mr. Darius Radcliffe, Coordinator Operation Rainbow Major General Stephen Guar. During the Peace  Security Network Toward 2019 General Elections in Abuja…Yesterday Photo Kingsley Adeboye

The US Envoy  revealed that there is no elections in February next year that is important to the world  as the Nigerian general election.

To this end, he stressed the need for Nigerian government and her citizens to be fully engaged in the process  in love, togetherness and equal participation to make the elections work.

Symington while noting that elections are challenging times for a nation adviced that every Nigerian including the youth, security agencies and the government must unite in love and trust and not engage in  hateful  speech or Acts if they must achieve a peaceful and productive elections.

He further encouraged Nigerians to harness the energy and opportunity of her extraordinary youthful population for the good of its people and all its neighbours and the whole world.

He said:   “It is the hope of the world that Nigerian election will be credible,  transparent, fair and also the hope of the world that every Nigerian is engaged.

“There is no election in the world in February that is more important than that of Nigeria. The reason for this is the potential population bomb or explosion. In fact, the population of this part of the word has already exploded, that bomb has already gone off.”

“The question is how to harness the energy and opportunity of this extraordinary youthful population for the good of it’s people, neighbours and the whole world. There is however, one thing that would make the difference and that will be the ties that bind people of Nigeria–ties of friendship, of trust. Not of hate but of love, not of desperation but of purpose, not having  hate speech, or hateful acts, but acts of love and kindness.

“During the course of a nation, the moment that those ties are often tested, are around election itself. So the challenge before us is not just for the security forces and the government to plan, but to resolve to share and communicate. It’s not just for the citizens to do that too, both have to work together. I think if that network focuses in this way, the chances of elections next year, will be peaceful and productive,” he stressed.

Also speaking, the National Cordinator of PSN,  Mr. Adeolu Adewumi, noted that the confab series could not be more apt towards ensuring a violence free elections.

Adewumi said that the event was organised to brainstorm on the securitisation of the electoral process and the prevention of violence.
According to him, the aim was also to know the strategic plans of the security agents ahead of 2019 elections since there were still insecurity in some regions of the country.
“We all are all witnesses to the fact that there is a resurgence of the insurgency in the North-East towards the 2015 elections; security agencies declared that they could not guarantee security during the election so it needed to be postponed.
“The question now is, are there signs that the 2019 elections will also be postponed? These are the questions we need to ask due to the recent attacks,” he said.

The PSN Coordinator  however, regrets the unresolved crisis across states in the country with potentials to fuel election violence while calling stakeholders to reach at a working solution.

The country Director, Mercy Corps Nigeria, Dr. Darius Radcliffe,  however, urged all security forces to remain apolitical during the electoral process.

He also pledged his support and commitment, saying: “we at Mercy corps will commit to ensuring a peaceful election”.

He assured that the group would keep partnering at all levels for a better and greater Nigeria ahead of 2019 elections, and called for a collaborative effort of all citizens.

“We have a strong collaboration with government, security forces, we have a strong affinity with LGAs, and religious leaders.”

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