We’ll not condone undue foreign interference, FG warns

Banditry: Buhari sends security, intelligence heads to Sokoto, Katsina
Buhari

The Federal Government has warned that it will not condone any undue interference in the affairs of the country, particularly, the coming general election.

It emphasized that it would continue to promote the right of Nigerians to choose their leaders.

The Federal Government gave the warning on Saturday in obvious reaction to the worry expressed by the United States and United Kingdom over the credibility of the coming election following the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the allegation of non-declaration of assets.

In separate statements on Saturday, US and UK said the action of President Muhammadu Buhari on Onnoghen’s case was capable of casting doubt on the sincerity of the government in ensuring a credible election.

But in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the Federal Government said much as the government appreciated the interest shown, it rejected any form of undue interference in the affairs of the country.

“The Federal Government welcomes the prevailing keen interest and partnerships for successful elections in, and a peaceful Nigeria.

“However, we reject any interference or perception management that promotes apprehension, citizens distrust or undermines the transparency and acceptability of the outcomes of our electoral process.

“Nigeria reserves the right to be insulated from suggestions and or interference with respect to wholly internal affairs and commends international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all,” the government said.

The government expressed its confidence over the country’s electoral processes and her preparation for the imminent elections.

It stated that it had supported the independent electoral umpire in both its independence and resources needed to accomplish the country’s desire and insistence on free and fair elections.

The government emphasised that it had ensured the independence of all organs, institutions and arms of government to perform their functions in a manner that is transparent and is not lacking in integrity whether institutionally or by persons within such institutions or organs and will continue to do this.

While stating that although the question of foreign interference, whether state sponsored, promoted or otherwise had dominated recent elections and outcomes globally, the federal government assured citizens and the global community that it would fiercely and assiduously promote the will and the right of Nigerians to choose and elect their leaders without pressure or assistance from persons or entities that are not constitutionally empowered to participate in the process.

“Citizens are encouraged to confidently exercise their franchise in an orderly manner with the assurance of the federal government to their security during and after the electoral process as well as the readiness of the security forces to confront any plan or attempt to interfere with or disrupt the process whether by elements within or from outside the country,” the government stressed.