The Nigerian Government has again warned foreign countries against interfering in the country’s internal affairs, especially as it concerns the elections.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister, said this at a joint briefing of heads of diplomatic missions and international organsiations accredited for the elections, alongside the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Onyeama said there was no problem with friendly nations to engage the government, but the manner of engagement in some cases have gone beyond the limit.
Onyeama said: “We welcome very much your engagement. We appreciate very much the support of all other countries in this process. We acknowledge how important your engagement and also in 2015 to help us to deliver probably one of the previous elections.
“We welcome international observers to the country and all other friends and media to be fully engaged, but what we are concerned about, has sometimes been just the way the engagement has been communicated.”
He further noted that choosing who to lead Nigeria is the exclusive right of Nigerians, and as such, the country would not tolerate any form of interference from foreign governments.
He also urged them to be unbiased in their assessment of the electoral process.
According to him: ”We have expected and hope that you will also be impartial and just help and observe to see if the elections will be free, fair and credible and not to give any sense of indication that there might be preference.”
He called on INEC to ensure seamless conduct of the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday.
“Most importantly, Mr. President and all Nigerians absolutely demand that elections be held on Saturday and nothing less will be acceptable to government and to Nigerians,” he added.
Speaking on the disappointment that followed the news of the postponement, he said: “I think it is absolutely important that the message be communicated that the government is absolutely disappointed and just cannot understand why after three years, the commission was still unable to deliver this process on time.
“I have never seen him [the President] so livid as he did with the postponement.
“The President’s objective is to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. Hence, the decision to postpone the elections by INEC is something he could not pardon.”