The Federal Government has welcomed the statements from the United States and the United Kingdom demanding a credible and peaceful election in Nigeria and threatening punitive measures against those caught perpetrating election malpractices.
In a statement issued in Ilorin today, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government was delighted that the statements came after it alerted the nation to the alleged machinations of some opposition elements who it claimed were working to scuttle the 2019 polls through widespread violence.
Recall that the United States and the United Kingdom had on Thursday announced repercussions, including visa restrictions, for election interference and election-related violence. In a joint statement in Abuja, the two nations said the upcoming elections is important not only for Nigeria, but for the African continent.
While welcoming the positions of the two counties, the minister said Nigerians and the international community should take seriously the assurance of a credible and violence-free election that he said had been consistently given by President Muhammadu Buhari, who he described as a tried-and-tested democrat and a globally-acclaimed man of integrity.
Meanwhile, opposition political parties on the platform of the Coalition of Political Parties welcomed the decision of the UK and the US. The coalition’s first national spokesperson, Imo Ugochinyere, while lauding the foreign governments for their decision, described them as the true gatekeepers of democracy.