A man gets his thumb marked to indicate he has voted at one of the polling unit in Lagos on March 9, 2019. – Nigerians are voting for a second time in a fortnight in governorship and state assembly elections, with heightened concerns from observers of violence and an increased military presence. Elections for governors are being held in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states, for all state assemblies, plus the administrative councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. (Photo by STEFAN HEUNIS / AFP)
Agence France-Presse

The United States Embassy in Nigeria has called on all stakeholders to ensure free, credible and peaceful exercise in Nigeria, as the supplementary polls hold in some states on Saturday.

The embassy gave the charge in a statement issued Thursday in Abuja.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rescheduled the supplementary elections in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States, for March 23, after it declared initial exercises inconclusive.

The embassy said “We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process for future elections.

“We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent.

“As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the US remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

The embassy congratulated Nigerians over their commitment to the democratic process throughout the election season.

According to the mission, the US supports a democratic process where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results.

“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate,” it stated.

It however, expressed concern over the low voter turnout as well as what it described as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations.

“We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services,” it stated.

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