The United States Government has formally responded to claims by immediate-past President Goodluck Jonathan that the American Government under former President Barack Obama meddled in the 2015 presidential election in Nigeria.
The response came through the Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate General Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks.
In his recently-launched book, “My Transition Hours”, Jonathan said Obama appeared to support then All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Muhammadu Buhari when he released a video urging Nigerians to “turn a new chapter”.
Jonathan further said that Obama appeared to support Buhari when he sent then Secretary of State, John Kerry, to protest moves by his administration to postpone the polls.
But the US government took exception to the ex-president’s claims.
Brooks, who took to Facebook, said, “It was mischaracterised in the book about what President Obama or his administration did in Nigeria.
“The mischaracterisation here refers to not comprehending why we felt it was important for Nigeria to have a peaceful, free and fair election in 2015.
“And thereby people may not understand why we placed so much importance of having a peaceful, free and fair and transparent election in 2019.
“In the past, Nigeria’s elections had been beset by violence, there have been questions about the fairness of those elections. And we certainly believe that Nigeria can do better. In 2015, Nigeria did do better.
“There may have been some difficulties as they often times occur in elections whether here in Nigeria or in the United States. But Nigeria did do better and we believe Nigeria will continue to make progress.”
Furthermore, Brooks made it clear that the US government would not be supporting any candidate in the 2019 general elections.
“We are not favouring or supporting any candidate. It is up to the Nigerian people to decide. Our candidate is the process. The process should be free and fair, it should be a non-violent process. I am not talking of any plus or minus of any candidate, we are not favouring any candidate. We are not trying to influence the success of any candidate. That is not our role,” he noted.
He added that the US would be empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission, civil society groups and the media to ensure a credible electoral process in Nigeria.
Brooks said, “We are helping Nigeria to make that progress through our support to INEC, to civil society here in Nigeria; through our assistance to the press and enabling them to also play a positive role in the coverage of the elections.
“All these show how important we believe it is for Nigeria to have an election process that can be credible and stand against any election anywhere in the world. We believe Nigeria can accomplish that .”