The governments of the United States and United Kingdom have warned against “deliberate political interference” in the collation of the March 28 presidential election results in Nigeria.
In a joint statement by the US secretary of state John Kerry and UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond, they warned that this would “contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves”.
The statement, issued on Monday afternoon, commended Nigerians for the “largely peaceful” conduct at the polls.
“Our governments welcome the largely peaceful vote on March 28. The Nigerian people have shown a commendable determination to register their vote and choose their leaders.
“So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process—where the votes are finally counted—may be subject to deliberate political interference. This would contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves.
“The Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom would be very concerned by any attempts to undermine the independence of the Electoral Commission (INEC), or its Chairman, Professor Jega; or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people”, they said.
Announcement of the presidential election results by collating officers from the states nationwide is currently ongoing in Abuja.