The United States has raised concern over the neutrality of security agencies in Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, starting in February.
This was said by a representative of the US embassy in Nigeria, David Young, during a meeting with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
“One of the concerns is about the neutrality of the security services. For us, it is very important that the security services provide for the election security, the safety of the process of the election in a way that doesn’t interfere with people getting to the polls, civil society monitors, election observers who have access to observe the process freely,” he said.
He said the US government is supporting INEC and the work it is doing.
He also added that he hoped that Mohammed Adamu the new inspector-general of police (IGP), would cooperate and give the necessary support.
On the other hand, Ketil Karlsen, European Union (EU) ambassador to Nigeria, said the EU was meeting with INEC to get updates on the preparations for the election.
“Our only real mission here is for Nigeria to succeed in having fee, fair transparent and credible elections,” he said.
“We want to be briefed by you on the preparation for the election. We already have long term observers.”
Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, also said they will support INEC to deliver credible election.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, responded that the electoral body will not disappoint the international community.
“We have concluded and published the guideline, we have finalised the manual for the election to be used for training staff for the election. We are recruiting as hoc staff and will soon start training them. We are aware the election is going to be an intense media event,” he said.