Posted by News Express | 22 December 2018 | 1,687 times
Influential United States lawmaker, Rep. Christopher Smith, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, is “very concerned by the current trajectory in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and economy, and President Muhamadu Buhari’s apparent crackdown on non-violent protests and harassment of opposition leaders, such as freezing the assets of opposition vice presidential candidate Peter Obi and the raiding of the home of two sons of opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.”
Smith in a statement issued on Friday in Washington, D.C. called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the 2019 elections “will be free and fair, and for the Commission to remain impartial.”
“I further call upon President Buhari to use his authority to end the violence perpetrated by Fulani extremists, particularly in the Middle Belt region, and question why he has failed to do so. I also urge the Trump Administration to monitor the evolving situation closely, and not to hesitate to use its sanctioning authority to hold accountable any officials who subvert the electoral process or foment violence against citizens,” Smith said.
Smith had on December 13, 2018, chaired a hearing on Nigeria entitled “Nigeria at a Crossroads: The Upcoming Election”. He has repeatedly called attention to extremist violence and has called upon President Buhari to use his authority to put a stop to it.
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