- The United States government, through its Embassy in Nigeria, has said it is not supporting any party or candidate in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria
- Rolf Olson, the political counselor at the Embassy, said visa sanctions would be imposed on anyone involved in undermining the elections
- Olson noted that the US interest is to ensure that the elections are free, credible and reflect the wish of Nigerians
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The United States does not support any candidate or political party in Nigeria's forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Rolf Olson, the political counselor at the US Embassy in Nigeria, said this on Thursday, November 17, at the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship alumni association seminar, TheCable reported.
“The United States does not support any individual candidate or party in this election cycle (or for that matter, in any other upcoming election," he said.
What is the United States' interest in Nigeria's 2023 elections?
Olson reiterated that the US is not supporting any party or candidate, adding that it is only interested in supporting peaceful, credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerians.
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“Our interest is in supporting credible and transparent elections that reflect the will of Nigerian voters, in a process that is conducted peacefully," he said.
We will impose visa sanction on those who try to undermine the elections, US says
Speaking further, the political counselor at the US Embassy said the US will impose visa sanctions on people who try to undermine Nigeria’s democratic process in 2023.
Olson said sanctions have been placed on persons who undermined the nation’s election before and would be repeated in the next election.
“When we say ‘all’ Nigerians, we mean all: politicians, candidates, students, leaders of religious, traditional, community, youth and business organisations and entities – everyone has a role to play in this effort,” he said.
“Even a small number of troublemakers can cause substantial havoc to an election. It takes a comprehensive effort to try to eliminate the use of violence and inflammatory rhetoric.
“Individuals seeking to undermine the democratic process, including through violence, may be found ineligible for visas to the United States.
2023 general elections: US govt allocates $50m for Nigeria
In a related development, the United States government has allocated $50 million for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
The US consul general, Will Stevens, said the fund would be used to train journalists, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and technical assistance.
Stevens noted that the ultimate aim is to ensure that the coming general elections are transparent such that every vote will count.