US Urges INEC to Replicate 2015 Performance in 2019 Election

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The United States Government has told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to replicate its performance in the 2015 general elections in next year’s polls
The US government said the performance of INEC in 2015 was generally acknowledged as free, fair and transparent, stressing that the electoral body should perform better in 2019.

Counselor for Public Affairs, Embassy of the United States, Mr. Aruba Amirthanayagam stated this yesterday in Minna, Niger State after paying a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Prestige FM radio station, Alhaji Zubair Idris.
“The United States expects that the 2019 general elections will be free and transparent.

“I think we should repeat the success we had in the last election because we have had elections in some parts of Africa that have not gone well
“What we got in 2015 was great for Nigeria and for the rest of Africa and other developing countries, “ he said, adding that “America will not take side in the 2019 election in Nigeria.”

“America will not take side, we want the winner to be elected in a free and fair contest,” he added, insisting that “ from the US perspective, we want free peaceful credible election, we will do all we can to assist Nigeria’s government.”

Asked to comment on the statement credited to President Donald Trump that Nigeria’s President was “lifeless “ when he paid a visit to White house recently the Counselor said “ we have no specific comment on that; a newspaper published it; the paper should comment on it.”

Speaking on the Prestige FM radio personality programme, Amirthanayagam said there was impunity in Nigeria “ that needs to be addressed. Impunity is a threat to democracy”. He described the radio station as “very vibrant,” adding that most privately owned electronic media in Nigeria were equipped with most modern equipment while the stations performed
creditably.
In his remarks, the Executive Director of the station Alhaji Zubairu Idris said the radio house had tried to be as independent as possible, adding that “ what we are doing here is participatory broadcasting”