February 23, 2023

U.S donates over $25m to support 2023 election – Envoy

U.S donates over $25m to support 2023 election – Envoy

By Victoria Ojeme

United States has on Thursday donated $25m to support Nigeria’s 2023 general election.

The U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Marybeth Leonard giving reason for the donation noted that the gesture was for the country to achieve free, fair, and credible election.

Leonard made this known in a roundtable chat with Journalists in Abuja, stating that the U.S government is supporting a credible electoral process but does not support a particular party or candidate.

She said that the U.S has been very present in Nigeria’s democratic journey since 1999, commending Nigeria for upholding a peaceful, and consistent democracy.

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, U.S 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 trouble shoot 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.

“We have done a lot of trying to facilitate diversity of participation in elections, to make it easier for a lot of people with disabilities. We are encouraging youth and women to vote.

“We have worked with journalists to train them on how to spot misinformation, how do journalists engage during electoral process, we have worked with security agencies.

“I think we have had a well-rounded interaction regarding this election and again we are really looking forward to see the peaceful elections,” Leonard said.

She said that just like the candidates and political parties, every Nigerian has the responsibility of ensuring a peaceful process, warning Nigerians against anyone who tries to incite violence.

“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 thinks 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.

“Nigerians should be very proud of their country as they go into elections. You think about the landscape in West Africa these days where there are so many people pursuing extra terms, or where there are coups.

“But here in Nigeria, the peaceful transfer of power and the idea of term limits is just part of the widely accepted political culture at the time that is not true in many places in this area.

“Another point of pride to Nigeria is how well you have done this in the 22, 23 years of democratic era.