US concerned at reported Nigerian election intimidation
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United States says Nigeria’s upcoming national elections will be “a critical test of democracy” and is expressing concern at reports of intimidation and partisanship by government security forces.
U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the Trump administration is also concerned about heightened insecurity in Nigeria, the inability of disabled and displaced people to vote, “and the risk that widespread vote-buying could challenge the integrity of the electoral process.”
He urged all parties to address these risks and ensure free and fair elections Feb. 16.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking a second term. The main opposition challenger is veteran politician Atiku Abubakar, but Oby Ezekwesili, who led the global campaign to free Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram extremists, is also running.