Edo: US praises voters, INEC, police over ‘credible’ election

The United States, on Wednesday, congratulated the people of Edo State for exercising their right to vote and for doing so peacefully.

The goodwill message followed the largely successful conduct of Saturday’s governorship election which saw the incumbent, Godwin Obaseki, re-elected for another term of four years.

The US, which had imposed travel bans on election riggers one week to the poll, said the governorship election was peaceful and credible.

Observers say the ban helped in keeping election riggers in check as they would not want to further incur the displeasure of the United States. Nigerian politicians are known for holidaying, shopping and seeking medical treatment overseas.

“Congratulations to the people of Edo State on a credible and peaceful governorship election,” the US said on Wednesday.

“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 Governor 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 United States remains concerned with reports of some violence that did emerge during the election, and by 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 our countries.”

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