The United States of American President, Donald Trump to use his sanctioning authority to hold accountable any (Nigerian) official who subverts the 2019 electoral process or foment violence against citizens, American congressman, Christopher Smith, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, urged.
He issued a statement concerning the 2019 general elections, zeroing in on the North East violence which he believes is ‘largely attributable to Fulani extremists.’
Smith, who represents New Jersey’s Fourth District at the American Congress, wrote via his official website https://chrissmith.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=401629
He states: “I am very concerned by the current trajectory in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and economy, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent crackdown on non-violent protests and harassment of opposition leaders, such as freezing the assets of opposition vice presidential candidate Peter Obi and the raiding of the home of two sons of opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.
“I call upon the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that elections will be free and fair, and for the Commission to remain impartial.
“I further call upon President Buhari to use his authority to end the violence perpetrated by Fulani extremists, particularly in the Middle Belt region, and question why he has failed to do so.
“I also urge the Trump Administration to monitor the evolving situation closely, and not to hesitate to use its sanctioning authority to hold accountable any officials who subvert the electoral process or foment violence against citizens.”
Smith chaired a hearing on Nigeria on December 13, 2018, entitled “Nigeria at a Crossroads: The Upcoming Election.”
igerian presidency had since denied the allegation of freezing Peter Obi’s assets. The administration also denied that EFCC searched the home of Atiku Abubakar’s two sons it rather said the son of a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Theodore Orji, was the one searched by the operatives the anti-graft angency.