The Nigerian government has said it rejected any interference in Nigerian internal affairs by any foreign country or organisation.
The government was reacting to the position of United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union on the suspension of the country’s Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement, said as much as Nigeria welcomes interests and partnerships for a successful 2019 general elections, the government would not condone unfair interference in the country’s internal affairs.
United States, the United Kingdom and some other foreign institutions have issued statements advising the government to retrace its steps.
But the Federal Government, in the statement, strongly condemned the comments of the foreign countries on the suspension of the CJN, insisting that as a sovereign country, Nigeria deserves respect and honour.
The government, however, pledged its commitment to ensuring a free, fair, credible and peaceful election, saying the electoral umpire, that is, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has been made truly independent and offered the required support.
“Nigeria reserves the right to be insulated from suggestions and or interference with respect to wholly internal affairs and commends international laws, customs and norms that mandate and require nations and the comity to respect this prerogative to all.
“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.
“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,” the statement said.
The statement urged Nigerian citizens to confidently exercise their franchise in an orderly manner, assuring them of adequate 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.” 00000