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US, UK warn against poll manipulation, commend Nigerians

By The Citizen
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The US and the United Kingdom on Monday expressed concern over alleged plans to rig the Saturday's presidential elections.

The UK Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in a joint statement on the Nigerian elections, published, said, 'There are disturbing indications that the collation process - where the votes are finally counted - may be subject to deliberate political interference.'

They warned politicians not to undermine the independence of INEC.

They said their observations so far showed that there have been no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process.

According to them, any plans to change the results will contravene the letter and spirit of the Abuja Accord, to which both major parties committed themselves.

The statement read,'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, Prof Jega; or in any way distort the expressed will of the Nigerian people.

'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.'