US Ambassador, Stuart Symington’s Condescending Sneer On Nigeria’s Election

The Oasis Reporters

February 28, 2019

Ambassador Stuart Symington on a courtesy visit to Governor Ambode of Lagos State.
Photo: Vanguard newspaper.

Nigerian born Canadian based professor and public affairs analyst, Pius Adesanmi has adduced his reason why he can’t stand Mr. Stuart Symington who he described as “by far the most irritating US Ambassador we’ve ever had in Nigeria. He is the meddler of meddlers. US Ambassadors by definition always think themselves absolute monarchs in Africa. Mr Symington thinks himself King Leopold.

“ According to the Civil Society situation room, 251 people were killed in election-related violence between October 2018 and election day. They are still putting together the election day body count. Would this infuriating American describe as peaceful a US election in which a single life was lost?
I can picture the backroom, condescending, racist jabs at the US Embassy in Abuja: “By their standards, it was peaceful. This is Africa, you know.”

Professor Pius Adesanmi got this furious enough to describe the U.S. Ambassador in such drab colours because Mr. Stuart Symington has applauded the conduct of Nigeria’s elections which he described as “peaceful”, according to a Channels Television report.

The report says that the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has congratulated Nigerians for their patience and large turnout to cast their votes in Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

In a statement, the U.S. envoy also applauded the hundreds of thousands who worked with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the polls.

Part of the statement read, “As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, this election was predominantly peaceful, and it was proof of the Nigerian people’s resolute commitment to choose their leaders. The peaceful achievement of millions was shadowed by the violence of a few.”

While commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives during the elections, Mr. Symington asked all the candidates in the elections to honor the peace accord they signed in the run-up to the exercise.

“All should convince those who support them to refrain from using force or violence to interfere with INEC.

“No one should break the law by announcing results before INEC does, or break the peace by claiming victory before the results are final. Everyone has a common interest in showing patience as INEC collates and announces the election results,” he said.

To Stuart Symington, a “predominantly peaceful” election is one in which 250 people “only”, died. But in America that is almost double Nigeria’s population, hardly will you hear of anyone dying over election related matters.
Do they violently snatch or smash ballot boxes in America ?

Rather than encourage Nigeria to move towards the conduct of hitch free elections devoid of threats of shoot at sight that scared millions of voters who stayed away from the poll or use the online real-time voting machines that Nigeria is quite capable of operating as it happened when Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission, KADSIEC conducted their local councils election, Nigeria retrogressed beyond 2011 to adopt the old system with huge opportunities for manipulations, and here is the American ambassador, practically hiding a jeer as he sneers at Nigeria.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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