Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, says the federal government will not accept foreign interference in the nation’s affairs.

Shehu said this hours after the US, UK and EU reacted to the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In separate statements, the countries said the action of Buhari could have effect on the general election.

But Shehu said the Buhari administration is against actions capable of creating apprehension, distrust among citizens or undermining the transparency and acceptability of outcomes of the nation’s electoral process.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Shehu said the federal government welcomes the prevailing keen interest and partnerships for successful elections and a peaceful Nigeria.

He added that the government had ensured the independence of all organs, institutions and arms of government to “perform their functions in a manner that is transparent, and not lacking in integrity whether institutionally or by persons within such institutions or organs.’’

“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,’’ he said.

He reiterated the readiness of the nation’s security forces to confront any plan or attempt to interfere with or disrupt the process whether by “elements within or from outside the country”.

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