Nigerian professionals in diaspora task US, EU on neutrality - PUNCH
BY Abiodun Nejo, Ado Ekiti
Nigeria Coalition for Change, a group of Nigerian professionals in the diaspora, has appealed to the international community to be neutral in the general elections in order to protect democracy in the country from being truncated.
The coalition’s chairman, Mr Samuel Ayodele, Secretary, Alhaji Ali Abubakar Sadiq and Diaspora Coordinator, Mr Julius Adewumi, said the position canvassed by the Federal Government that international community had no business meddling in the politics of the nation was in order.
They said in a statement from Washington DC, USA made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti on Sunday that “the best way the United States of America and the European Union can earn the respect of African nations is by distancing themselves from the continent’s local politics and allow individual countries to play their politics in a manner devoid of interferences.”
The coalition stated, “We, Nigerians in the diaspora, appreciate the US and EU’s pivotal roles in building democracy in Nigeria. But Nigeria is a nation that is democratically sophisticated, that will not condone undue interference, particularly in their politics and the international community must take cognisance of this fact which must remain sacrosanct.
“The international community has shown commitments to voter education in Nigeria, spending millions of dollars to propagate the ideal of free, fair and credible elections, and this is how far they can go, because displaying body languages that suggest they have preferences among presidential contenders may result into diplomatic crisis.
“We will appreciate the US and EU if they can restrict themselves to ensuring that the polls are credible, rather than showing preference among the political actors in order to ensure diplomatic ties with Nigeria remain strong and unshaken.”
The group also appealed to the electorate to shun vote buying in the coming elections, as voting the right candidate remains the best way to safeguard the future of the country. Allowing politicians with ill-gotten wealth to buy their ways into sensitive elective positions would further debase governance and increase the sufferings of the Nigerian masses.
“The worst trait that had conspicuously characterised our elections in recent times, were cases of vote buying.
“A nation that looks the other way as voters are bought is undermining its democracy with no prospect of good governance. So, it is expedient for our people to resist such temptation in the upcoming elections.”