Group writes U.S ambassador over 2019 polls, decries intimidation of Judiciary

A non-governmental organisation, Democracy Vanguard of Nigerians in Diaspora (DVND) has written to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, regarding the 2019 presidential election. 

The group, according to the letter dated 26th June, 2019, said the result of the 2019 presidential election was not a reflection of the will of Nigerians.

In a letter sent to the ambassador and signed by its president, Timothy A. Sule, said events prior and during the elections clearly contradicted the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that the polls will be free and fair. 

According to the group, the election was marred by violence and intimidation by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). 

“There was clear voter suppression in the southern part of Nigeria (opposition strongholds); some northern states especially Kano witnessed flagrant voter inflation to meet up with the minimum 25 percent constitutional requirement. 

“Influential opposition leaders were randomly and recklessly arrested and incarcerated on trumped-up charges with the sole aim of keeping them out of circulation. 

“The election proper was everything but free, transparent, credible and fair,” the group said. According to them, the incidences recorded had clear effect on the electoral process across the country. 

“The aftermath of the exercise was predictable and expectedly the opposition was rigged out against the clear wishes and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians. 

“We are drawing your kind attention to these and many more that time and space will not permit us to enumerate in this letter for you to take drastic steps with a view to arresting the trends through thorough investigation and punishing those found culpable in all of the atrocities,” the group stated. 

It, however, appealed to the US government to help save Nigeria’s democracy from disintegration, manipulation and eventual annihilation. 

“That you carry out a comprehensive independent assessment and investigation of the entire electioneering process including the pre and post-election anti-democratic behaviour of some state actors and politicians with a view to sanctioning those found guilty. 

“That these culpable individuals and their families should be summarily banned from entering the United States of America”.

The said the leadership of the APC should be investigated and if culpable banned along with members of their families from entering the United States, revoke their visas over his anti-democratic utterances, inciting statements against the opposition parties as well as corruption allegations.

“That all political prisoners and all those being detained against competent and lawful court orders should immediately be released. This includes but not limited to the leader of the Shiites movement, El-Zakzaky and Mr. Sambo Dasuki etc. 

“That the judiciary, the last hope of the ordinary Nigerian should henceforth be devoid of executive intimidation, harassment and interference especially as the judges currently review election petition matters and other court’s matters. 

“That Miss Leah Sharibu should immediately be rescued and reconciled with her dear family.

“That the dire security situations, especially kidnapping, raping’s and killing of innocent’s citizens should be addressed with all seriousness.”

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