US Ambassador: Nigerians’ expectations were not met by recent presidential election
The most recent presidential election held in the nation did not live up to the expectations of the populace, according to Mary Leonard, the US ambassador to Nigeria.
Although Nigerians showed their commitment to democracy on February 25, the US ambassador noted in an opinion piece that there were still a lot of angry and frustrated citizens of the country.
She contrasted that with the fact that many Nigerians are also rejoicing in victories they feel have been earned after a long struggle.
However, she emphasized that it is crucial for the future of the nation that Nigerians do not let their differences sever them and that the legally mandated process for resolving election-related challenges be allowed to proceed.
The ambassador praised Mr. Bola Tinubu, who the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidential election, for acknowledging Mr. Peter Obi and Mr. Atiku Abubakar’s resolve to pursue legal action in recent statements.
“Controversy and conflict over elections are nothing new in the United States. In a constitutional democracy governed by the rule of law, electoral disputes may properly come to a conclusion in a courtroom, despite the fact that this can sometimes be unsatisfying.
“It is obvious that the Nigerians’ expectations were not met by the February 25 electoral process as a whole. Since the country’s return to democracy more than two decades ago, Nigeria has made significant progress, as I stated numerous times prior to the elections. One of these advancements is the steadily rising standard of its elections.
The use of new technology designed to increase transparency in the results-reporting process is one way that Leonard acknowledged that Nigerians want this positive trend to continue.
Thus, she reiterated her call for INEC to address the issues that can be resolved quickly in advance of the March 11 gubernatorial elections and to conduct a more thorough investigation into the issues that arose during the previous elections and what can be done to address them.
The US ambassador emphasized that INEC must always inform the Nigerian populace of its plans by providing information about those plans.
She also referred to a few of the remarkable election results that demonstrate how Nigeria’s political climate ‘is undeniably changing.
According to Leonard, the winning candidate in 20 out of the 51 states was from a different political party than the governor who was already in office.
She claimed that the governors of 12 of these states are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and that, for the first time, all four presidential candidates were victorious in at least one state. Based on these preliminary results, the top three candidates each won 12 states.
Even though the results of the National Assembly elections are still being tallied, Leonard claimed that given the defeat of seven incumbent governors who were running for the Assembly, the US already knows that changes are taking place.
Furthermore, she added that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) had won at least 11 seats in the House of Representatives while the Labour Party (LP) had at least seven seats in the Senate.
The Nigerian people have made it clear that they want responsive and inclusive governance, and we strongly support their right to do so.
The two biggest presidential democracies in the world are Nigeria and the United States, and they have cooperated for many years. We support you as you navigate these upcoming weeks and months in Nigeria, the ambassador said.