“American lawmaker, Chris Smith, has advised that, at the minimum, the 2019 presidential election must meet the 2015 standards.
Smith said the standard of the 2015 presidential election led to peaceful transfer of power, while a statement by the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan averted bloodshed.
Smith, who was the immediate past chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the statement on Monday.
Entitled, ‘On the Postponement of Elections in Nigeria,’ Smith writes:
“Responsibility for the delay of Nigeria’s presidential election lays squarely with President Muhammadu Buhari and those close to him. Actions in advance of the election — including removal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen and arson attacks on Independent National Electoral Commission offices in opposition strongholds — are undermining confidence that this election and subsequent gubernatorial elections will be free and fair. At a minimum, the presidential election must meet the 2015 standard, which saw a peaceful transfer of power and a statement by the then-sitting president that all bloodshed must be avoided.”
Rep. Smith also called upon the Trump Administration and the State Department to focus greater attention upon Nigeria.
“In addition to being sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria is its biggest economy, and what happens in Nigeria has ramifications beyond its borders,” Smith said.”