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BCO Warns US Envoy Stuart Symington To Respect Nigeria’s Sovereignty & Stop Supporting Atiku

us supporting atiku nigerian election

Buhari Warns US Envoy Stuart Symington To Respect Nigeria’s Sovereignty & Stop Supporting Atiku

By Eniola Akinkuotu, Punch NG

Buhari Campaign Organisation, spokesman, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), has accused the United States Ambassador, Stuart Symington, and other western ambassadors of partiality and tacit support for the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

Keyamo said this in a statement he issued in reaction to threats by Symington that persons who indulge in hate speech would be dealt with by the US.

Symington had also warned public officials not to obey unlawful directives issued in the name of the “boss,” saying any politician whose utterances incite people to violence would be held to account for the crime.

The ambassador’s warning came a day after Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State threatened that foreign persons who interfere in the elections would leave Nigeria in body bags, a statement that was defended by the Presidency.

However, Keyamo said the utterances of some western powers were giving the impression that Buhari was planning to rig Saturday’s elections.

The campaign spokesman also questioned the decision of the US Government to issue a visa to Atiku despite being accused of corruption.

The statement read in part,

“We take the view that the constant statements by Ambassador Symington and the other diplomats are implicit attacks against the government of Nigeria. These statements imply the Nigerian government is inclined to rig the election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is unfair and unacceptable to us. President Muhammadu Buhari has never been accused of electoral malpractice all his life.

Keyamo said threatening to deal with persons who make certain utterances was an abuse of free speech which is guaranteed by both the Nigerian and the United States’ constitutions.

He said contrary to insinuations, it was the PDP that rigged in 2015 especially in the South-South geopolitical zone where the party won.

The statement added;

“The continued reference and praise of the 2015 elections by Ambassador Symington clearly shows he needs further briefing about the Nigerian situation. For his information, the 2015 presidential election, at the end of the day, produced the correct outcome, but with flawed figures in many areas. Though they lost, the figures attributed to the PDP were inflated in many places, especially in the South-South, to save the face of the past President (Goodluck Jonathan) and to reduce the margin of his defeat. President Buhari is determined to improve on the 2015 elections and so it cannot even be our benchmark.”

He said contrary to speculations, it was only the PDP that depended on rigging for victory in Saturday’s elections.

Keyamo adde;

“An American ambassador has a great responsibility in representing the strongest economic and military power in the world. His comments carry weight because of the status of his nation. This means his comments should reflect a deep knowledge of the subject. Sadly, Ambassador Symington has not shown the deep knowledge of the Nigerian situation. The impression he creates by constantly harping on suspected government interference with the electoral process is that President Buhari cannot win without tipping the results. He seems to be saying that only a PDP victory will be evidence of a fair election.

“Again, he is in great error. From all of the information at our disposal, President Buhari can and should win a free and fair election. However, it appears to us that Ambassador Symington is substituting his subjective conclusions for the sovereign will of the Nigerian people. In doing so, he has abandoned the impartiality of a true envoy and has trespassed into interfering in our electoral process.”

Keyamo said the US envoy should not only face the ruling party but also focus on the opposition party.

He said the days of colonialism were long gone and therefore advised Symington to respect Nigeria’s sovereignty.



  1. Endurance

    February 12, 2019 at 7:37 AM

    What do you expect from a renown lawyer that has been bought over by the regime to become it campaign organization spokesman? He will definitely take side with his hirer. Freedom of speech allowed by both the US and Nigerian constitution certainly gives no room for unguarded, careless, reckless and inflammatory speeches that could spark violence among the two major party supporters. Threatening international observers whose coming here is to monitor the presidential election with death is the hight of APC aggression and belligerency and should be strongly condemned. Festus Keyamo berating the US ambassador could therefore mean that he wholeheartedly supported El Rufai’s threat to give ‘body bag’ treatment to foreign election observers. The fact is that, Keyamo’s qualification as a lawyer need to be questioned and be reviewed. How can a lawyer see nothing wrong with death threat statement credited to international election observers? Could it be that the huge amount of money giving to him for his contract has completely deafened his ears and blinded his eyes from seeing what could emerge from El Rufai hate speech? And to add salt to the injury, the presidency also fully supported this reckless statement and even declared that they see nothing wrong with it. This is indeed shocking!!! I wonder what type of country are we. It is the duty of a lawyer and the government to caution all political actors to be mindful of their utterances especially at this delicate point of electoral process. In a volatile political environment such as we have in nigeria, overzealous party faithful and political supporters could take this threat as the greenlight from their principals to unleash violence on perceived opponents with dire consequences on our national security. The regime of President Muhammadu Buhari have thus further lose it integrity and credibility in the eyes of international community going by their current tacit support for such hate speeches emaneting from their top party members. What a shame!!

  2. Mua

    February 12, 2019 at 8:46 AM

    But Keyamo is it a lie? That he is planning to rig the elections?

  3. DB

    February 12, 2019 at 9:52 AM

    The constitution gives room for looting, rigging and madness. That is why such acts prevail with utmost impunity. Make we hear word abeg. Atiku knows how his selfish oga rigged elections in the past and how they used the power of incubency to rig results in their favour, so now he and his fellow thieves are afraid that their weapon is being used against them. All of you PDP, APC, US envoy should go to hell

  4. Danmanas

    February 12, 2019 at 12:11 PM

    We pray for peace before, during and after this forthcoming general election.

  5. Fifelomo

    February 12, 2019 at 12:25 PM

    The election scheduled to be on Saturday 16th of Feb, is all about formality. Somewhere in los/ng, votes will be casted at midnight on Wed/Thur. If you know you know. @ng if this will put me in trouble pls don’t post.

  6. Fifelomo

    February 12, 2019 at 12:28 PM

    Somewhere in los/ng acct number are collected to be crdted on Thur/Fri.

  7. Jilo

    February 12, 2019 at 6:59 PM

    The election has not been conducted anyway, why insinuating any possible of rigging the election? There are International observers who will monitor the election and determine if the election is actually rigged.

    I think the PDP has seen the hand writing on the wall that APC is likely to win the forthcoming election again. So, by wrongly accusing APC of election fraud will give them justification after the election that APC had rigged the election on their favor. Also, the US Ambassador should not have even interfere in Nigeria politics. That is a violation of sovereignty of one’s Country. United States will never accept interference in their election. Right now the investigation is still on going about Russia intervention of 2016 US election. Some responsible people have been indicted on this meddling charges. This is a serious offense on Ambassador’s part. His job is to represent US interest in Nigeria not by using US influence on Nigeria’s election.

  8. Rosy

    February 13, 2019 at 5:58 PM

    Where this one from?

  9. Adewole Adeyemi

    February 14, 2019 at 6:33 AM

    In a family setting, the parents don’t side with any of their children. The western countries should play the mother figure in African politics. This will give them more respect than meddling in their affairs.

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