– Ambassador Tibor Nagy, US assistant secretary for African affairs, says he is sure INEC is capable of conducting a free, fair and credible election in 2019
– He expressed confidence that the electoral commission will be up to the task, though it will be a very difficult one
– The diplomat further called on politicians and security agencies to shun activities capable of discrediting the outcome of the elections
The United States assistant secretary for African affairs, Ambassador Tibor Nagy, has expressed confidence that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is capable of conducting a free, fair and credible election in 2019.
The diplomat, who is on a visit to the country, stated that he was positive that the Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC would do a good job in the 2019 general polls; even as he acknowledged that the task before the commission was very difficult, The Nation reports.
We gathered that he stated: “Nigeria has been an example of a model of the kind of democratic processes which would be wonderful to have throughout the African continent.
“Not only is Nigeria the largest African country and economy in Africa, but the last election in 2015 was an absolute positive example on how an election should be conducted; and so much of the credit goes to the commission for their phenomenal positive and very objective work in managing those elections.
“So, we have every confidence that the commission would be up to the task, which we all know is a very difficult task, given the enormity of the process.”
Nagy further stressed that the US does not have any preferred candidate for the 2019 election.
He said: “We don’t care who wins, but the process.”
He said while Nigerians have absolute right to choose their leaders, the process through which such leaders emerge must be transparent, free and fair to all.
Thus, Nagy called on politicians and security agencies to shun activities capable of discrediting the outcome of the 2019 elections.
He said: “Regarding the plans for the February elections, we will remain very interested and we were very honored to be able to host the chairman in the US recently to be able to observe the preparations for our own elections.
“We understand all of the complexities and we want to specially urge all the parties concerned to please urge all of their followers to be non-violent and also to urge all of the organs of state security, especially, to remain neutral in this process because the neutrality of the state is absolutely essential.”