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JUST IN: US Speaks On Having Preference For A Presidential Candidate

The United States (US) declared on Thursday (today) that it has no preference for any candidate running in the upcoming general elections in 2023 in Nigeria.

It stated that it is more interested in seeing a calm and transparent electoral process when Nigerians cast their ballots for the nation’s next president on February 25 and in subsequent elections.

This was said by Mary Beth Leonard, the US ambassador to Nigeria, in a speech she made today in Abuja at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue.

According to Leonard, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will handle the elections in 2023 with accuracy.

She said that at a time when democracy is being tampered with in many places in Africa, the practice is deepening in Nigeria.

Leonard said, “The United States supports credible and transparent elections that will reflect the will of the people in a process that will be conducted peacefully. We have confidence in INEC to conduct the elections.

“2023 is an opportunity for Nigeria to claim its place as the democratic leader in Africa. We favour no candidate. We favour open and transparent elections conducted in a peaceful process. This is the foundation of democracy and the legitimate transfer of power.

“It’s good that we reflect on the fact that since 1999, Nigerian voters have successfully exercised their democratic rights. For more than two decades, Nigeria has demonstrated its strong commitment to peaceful and transparent elections to Africa and the world.”

In his earlier remark, while welcoming dignitaries at the event, the Chairman of Media Trust Group, Malam Kabir Yusuf, said this year’s dialogue is special because it is coming a month before the general elections.

He said the dialogue is Media Trust’s little contribution to the efforts to bring peace to the country.

News Direct understands that the event was chaired by Archbishop (Emeritus) John Cardinal Onaiyekan.

Dignitaries present include HRH Alhaji Ismaila Mohammed, former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and first female chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, Professor of Political Science and member of the Board of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Lecturer, Analysis of Business Problems, Lagos Business School. Dr Yetunde Anibaba and Human Capacity Development Specialist and CEO, Heltoni Services Limited, Dr Eugene Enahoro.

Others include former governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema; spokesman Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, INEC, Festus Okoye.

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