‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja
Daily Courier – The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, has called on Nigerians to reject vote-buying and violence as the country prepares for another general election in 2023.
Speaking during an event held in Lagos on Monday to celebrate the 246th Independence Anniversary of the United States, Leonard highlighted the similarities between Nigeria and her country, adding that both countries seek to embrace diversity, build unity, and recommit to strengthening democracy.
She said this shared commitment had produced a bond between both countries that went beyond governments, adding that it was equally anchored in cultural and commercial relationships, as well as in people-to-people partnerships.
“We partner with Nigeria to strengthen health services, support educational institutions, boost agricultural production, provide security training and military equipment, and encourage entrepreneurship and private sector engagement – to name a few. And in the coming year, the world will be focused on Africa’s largest democracy as Nigerians go to the polls.
“In the lead up to the election season, we are reminded of the importance of robust debate, freedom of expression, and space for the many diverse voices in Nigeria to be heard. Your voice and your actions matter. Reject vote-buying and violence. Ask candidates questions about the issues you care about. Vote,” she said.