- The US government has released a statement over the unfolding political situation in Edo state
- A statement by the US mission in Nigeria expressed worry over the alleged interference of security agents in the political process
- The mission urged political stakeholders in the state to work towards a free and fair electoral process
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The United States government has issued an official statement regarding the political developments in Edo state as the south-south state prepares for the September governorship election.
According to a statement released by the US Mission in Nigeria on Friday, August 7, the US expressed worry over the rising political tension in the state.
"We are concerned with reports of the deteriorating political climate in Edo State and are disappointed with the role played by some political actors in the state," the US stated.
The US also expressed worry over the blockade of the state's House of Assembly by security agents.
"We are especially concerned with allegations of interference by security forces in political matters, which we will continue to monitor closely in the run up to gubernatorial elections in the state in September," the statement notes.
The US urged all the political stakeholders in the forthcoming poll to "to work towards a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful process."
"We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process," the statement added.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it may suspend the coming Edo and Ondo governorship elections if there is a breakdown of law and order.
Festus Okoye, the INEC national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee made the statement at a meeting in Abuja on Thursday, August 6.
The meeting which was attended by stakeholders deliberated on a number of issues, including preparations for the elections.
Okoye raised concerns over the malicious actions such as destruction of opponents’ campaign materials, billboards, violent campaigns and use of offensive language.
He said INEC was determined to conduct peaceful elections in the two states, adding that the commission will not relent in its responsibility to enforce the rules elections.
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