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AFP
February 12, 2019

Nigeria’s ruling party criticises US over vote warnings

World

AFP
February 12, 2019

LAGOS: Nigeria’s ruling party on Monday hit back at the United States and other foreign allies for making "unguarded" public statements ahead of presidential polls this weekend.

The US, Britain and the European Union have in recent weeks publicly warned against vote-rigging and election violence, and also expressed concern over President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of Nigeria’s top judge last month.

Saturday’s election will see Buhari stand for a second four-year term against former vice-president Atiku Abubakar in what is expected to be a close race. Buhari’s re-election campaign spokesman Festus Keyamo called the statements from the US and others "notably off-key" and unwelcome.

"Instead of encouraging our country toward credible elections, such statements undermine public confidence," Keyamo said. "It would appear that these envoys seem to have discredited the election before it has even taken place." Keyamo’s comments come after a key Buhari ally, Kaduna state governor Nasir El-Rufai, said outsiders who intervened in the election "will go back in body bags". "Nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country. We have got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible," he said.

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