By Gift Habib
The United States on Thursday donated $25m to support Nigeria in conducting free, fair, and credible elections.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, made this known in a roundtable chat with journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
Leonard commended Nigeria for upholding a peaceful and consistent democracy, adding that the US has worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the forthcoming election.
She stressed, “So, we have long been involved in democracy and governance through programmes in Nigeria and probably we are spending about 25 million dollars with particular reference to this election.
“We are doing many things. First of all, we are sponsoring and independent observation mission with some very high-powered delegation, US Veterans, they are independent of us but we have played a role in facilitating.
“We have worked with INEC itself, on sort of the technical aspects, for example, we trained some 1,800 technical workers on how to troubleshoot the BVAS and those people in their turns have trained hundreds of thousands of other people.
“So that come election day, if there is any trouble with the technology, people will be around to know how to fix it.
“I think we have had a well-rounded interaction regarding this election and again we are really looking forward to see the peaceful elections.”
She said every Nigerian had the responsibility of ensuring a peaceful process, urging leaders to take their commitments seriously.
Leonard stated, “Everybody has an obligation to contributing to a peaceful execution of election, security agencies have a formal role, politicians have a role, campaigns have a role, individuals have a role.
“Some of the things you see on social media are disturbing, with inciting of violence, and I think all Nigerians have to think about that carefully, your vote is your voice.
“We urged the candidate and political parties to respect the outcomes of the elections and the National Peace Commission should be commended for their roles.
“I will hope that leaders take their commitments seriously,” Leonard said.