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U.S. has no preferences in 2019 polls, says envoy


• IPAC chief offers path to vote buying

The United States yesterday said it had no preferred political party or presidential candidate in next year’s general elections.The country, however, noted that it prefers Nigeria conducts a transparent and violent-free exercise that allows for free choices by the electorate.The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, William Stuart Symington, stated this when he paid an official to the Katsina State government.

Represented by the duo of Philip Franz Seita and Victoria Ibi, the envoy reiterated that U.S. had no interest in backing any of the candidates aspiring for the highest office in the country.He noted: “We are not interested in the candidates and their parties but the process and outcomes.

“That’s why we have been traversing the length and breadth of the country on a productive engagement with the political leaders and stakeholders to promote the conduct of a peaceful election next year.”

The Permanent Secretary, Government House, Muntari Lawal, who represented Governor Aminu Bello Masari, called for programmes that would enhance cordial relationship between Katsina and the United States.

In the meantime, the National Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Peter Ameh, has proffered solution to vote buying.Speaking at a conference organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in Abuja, he noted that the problem could be addressed if public office is made less attractive. Ameh, who is the presidential candidate of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), maintained that the menace could be further checked when the electorate shun the temptation of trading off their votes for cash during balloting.

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