Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
The United States Embassy in Nigeria has dismissed allegations levelled against it by the Buhari Campaign Organisation.
The BCO spokesman, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), had, on Monday, said the utterances of the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, and those of other countries, seemed to give tacit support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.
However, the US embassy said on Tuesday that it was not supporting anyone.
The embassy called on Nigerians to be wary of fake news and rumours as the elections draw closer.
The statement reads in part, “The United States Embassy in Nigeria wishes to reiterate, unequivocally, that we are not taking sides in Nigeria’s election.
“We do not support any party or candidate. We support a level playing field and the democratic process.
“That is the bedrock principle of our government’s advocacy on democratic elections. In the final run-up to the Feb. 16 vote, fake news and rumours are operating in overdrive. But it must be repeated: we are not taking sides.”
The embassy reminded Nigerians that the US provides $1bn in aid to Nigeria and directly helps at least two million people.
The statement added, “The United States is Nigeria’s long-term and enduring friend.
“We provide more than $1bn in assistance and help, save more than two million lives of Nigerians each year through our health and humanitarian assistance.
“This will not change. We are Nigeria’s good partner, and this will continue after this democratic election – no matter who wins.
“This election is Nigeria’s, but it is also important for Nigeria’s neighbours and for the world.
“Nigeria has long played a great leadership role in the region and beyond as a force for democratic stability. The credible electoral results of 2015 empowered Nigeria to play that role.
“The United States looks forward to a similar result this week.”
While reiterating that the fate of Nigeria remains in the hands of its citizens, the US said it would continue to support Nigeria’s democracy.
It called on security agencies, the Independent National Electoral Commission and all relevant stakeholders to remain neutral on Saturday’s elections.
The US welcomed the signing of peace accords by the candidates for president and other offices.
The statement added, “Now is the time to grow that peace by ensuring all get the message and put it into action so that both the voting and the aftermath are peaceful and fully respect the democratic process.
“Peace benefits all Nigerians and peace is the responsibility of every citizen as you work together to ensure your elections are free, fair, transparent, and credible.”
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