Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has disowned reports predicting victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general elections.
The US institute said the reports were erroneous, adding that it remained a non-partisan institute.
It also noted that its only interest in elections was that of preventing violence not on the outcome.
USIP in a statement on its website on Tuesday with the caption: “Correcting a Media Error: USIP Makes No Prediction on Nigerian Election,” pointed out that its 20-page report on risk to a peaceful election in Nigeria, predicted victory for Buhari was false.
It stated, “A few Nigerian newspapers reported erroneously this week that the U.S. Institute of Peace has made a prediction about the possible outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election.
“USIP never makes predictions about election outcomes and has not done so in this case. The Institute’s work on elections is confined to helping nations avoid electoral violence.
“The erroneous news accounts misrepresent USIP’s recent 20-page report on the risks to a peaceful 2019 election in Nigeria.
“This study is based on interviews across the country with more than 200 Nigerian respondents—election administrators, political party representatives, security officials, civil society and youth groups, the media, traditional and religious leaders, prominent community figures, business people, academics and others.
“The USIP report noted that, in the interviews, ‘some respondents’ discussed their own views of Nigerian public perceptions about an election outcome.
“A Nigerian news account misreported this passage as a USIP prediction of the outcome, and other Nigerian news organizations repeated the error.”
USIP reportedly said despite misgivings by many Nigerians about the performance of the President Muhammadu administration, the president is most unlikely to lose the 2019 election.
USIP was established by Congress in 1984 as an independent institution devoted to the non-violent prevention and mitigation of deadly conflict abroad.
It operates on the ground in some of the world’s most dangerous places to provide training, guidance, resources and analysis for those working to prevent or reduce violent conflict.
USIP works in 51 countries facing warfare and extremism, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Burma and Nigeria.