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We have no candidate, US envoy tells APC

01 September 2014, 18:32

Abuja - The United States has said it was not supporting any candidate in the forthcoming polls, including the presidential election slated for February 2015.

It has also asked the various Nigerian security agencies to be neutral during the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said these while he led a delegation of some members of the embassy staff, to the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.

The ambassador, who said he was on a mission of advising political parties, politicians and Nigerians in general on the need to eschew violence in the February 2015 polls, said elections were key to democratic governance.

He said Nigerians must be conscious of their right to vote, while security agencies must ensure they were neutral during the forthcoming elections.

He said, “I have always told Nigerians to be careful about their right to vote because it is the most precious thing in the world.

“The other thing is the role that the security agencies have to play. They have a very huge responsibility in any country to maintain security and peaceful atmosphere during elections.

“That is their job and we support them in that. But they have to maintain absolute neutrality so that they are not seen as favoring either sides.”

He said of late he had been inundated with questions of who his country would be supporting in the forthcoming election.

Entwistle said his response to the inquiries had always been that the support of the US was for the Nigerian people.

Also read : US welcomes successful Ekiti poll

He said, “I have been frequently asked who the United States is supporting for the February 2015 elections and my answer has always been that the United States supports the Nigerian people in their quest for a credible, transparent election that they want and deserve.

“So, we are not here to support anybody or any candidate, but to support a credible process in which the Nigerian people can freely express their wishes. That is why we provide support to INEC and civil societies as we get ready for this election.

Earlier, APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, who welcomed the US delegation to the party’s secretariat and thanked the US government for its support for the development of democracy in the country, said opposition parties were disadvantaged by the new trend of heavy militarisation of elections in the country.


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