- The United States has denied allegation that it was working for the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar
- In a statement released by its ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, US also restated the commitment to continue with its sister aid to Nigeria
- Earlier, the spokesperson for President Buhari re-election campaign, Festus Keyamo, had accused US of double standing as regard the February 16 poll
In a counter-reaction to the allegation of double standing leveled against the United States by Festus Keyamo, Stuart Symington, the US ambassador to Nigeria, has denied rooting for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s Atiku Abubakar.
The US ambassador, in a statement issued ahead of the general election, said United States was only concerned about the unity and democracy of Nigeria, adding that the country's over $1 billion financial aid to Nigeria will continue irrespective of the winner of the February election, The Cable reports
It would be recalled that Keyamo (SAN), who is the spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari Re-election Campaign, had thrown a subtle attack on the US over what he described as its suspicious protection and support for the PDP's presidential candidate, Atiku.
Keyamo had said of Symington that he ''seems to be saying that only a PDP victory will be evidence of a fair election."
Reacting to the allegation on Tuesday, February 12, US denied giving support to any of the candidates, adding that the country would assure a level playing ground for all the challengers.
Part of the statement read: "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.
“This is Nigeria’s election and the citizens of Nigeria will decide who will lead their nation. It is important for the future of every Nigerian and it is important that every Nigerian contribute to making it a democratic, peaceful, free and fair process.
“This will ensure that all Nigerians see the results as credible, and they accept them. This will empower Nigeria’s democracy going forward, as did the elections of 2015.”
On its commitment to continue with the financial aid it gives Nigeria, US said the outcome of the election would not stop the country from extending its sister support.
It said: "The United States is Nigeria’s long-term and enduring friend. We provide more than $1 billion in assistance and help save more than 2 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."
PAY ATTENTION: Download our mobile app to enjoy the latest news update
According to the ambassador, Nigeria has long played a great leadership role in the region and beyond as a force for democratic stability. He added that credible electoral results of 2015 empowered Nigeria to play that role.
Symington said the United States looks forward to a similar result this week. He called on all Nigerians, official, party member, and the security forces to peacefully support Nigeria’s democratic process in accordance with Nigerian law.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had warned the governments of the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union observers, not to interfere in the internal affairs of Nigeria.
The APC leader's statement was a reaction to letters from the foreign countries and organisations condemning the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you better
2019 Presidency: Nigerians reveal why they prefer Atiku to President Buhari | Legit TV