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CJN: We Won’t Allow Meddling In Nigeria’s Affairs, Presidency Tells US, UK, Others

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal Government has warned that it will not allow any interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs by foreign powers, who have continued to condemn President Muhammadu Buhari’s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

A statement which emanated from the office of the Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday night, also assured that the government is committed to conducting free and fair elections.

While it welcomed what it said is the prevailing keen interest and partnerships for successful elections in, and a peaceful Nigeria, it added: “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 commands international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all.”

According to the statement, even though the question of foreign interference has featured prominently in recent elections worldwide, the Nigerian government will promote the right of Nigerians to elect who they want.

The Presidency added: “Although the question of foreign interference, whether state-sponsored, promoted or otherwise has dominated recent elections and outcomes globally, the federal government assures citizens and the global community that it will 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.”

It explained that Nigeria is confident of its electoral processes and her preparation for the imminent elections and the federal government has supported the independent electoral umpire in both its independence and resources needed to accomplish our desire and insistence on free and fair elections.

“In addition, the Federal government has 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,” the statement added.

The presidency said 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.

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