Stuart Symington, US ambassador to Nigeria, has warned public officials not to obey illegal directives issued in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking with journalists on Thursday in Makurdi, Benue state capital, after a meeting with Samuel Ortom, the state governor, the ambassador said any politician whose utterances incite people to violence would be held to account for the crime.

He urged political leaders to ensure free and fair election as the polls draw closer.

Although the ambassador did not mention Buhari’s name, all indications point to the president who has on different occasions reiterated his commitment to free and fair elections.

“If anybody asks you to do something that is not right and says the boss wants you to do it, or the person at the top wants you to do it, don’t believe him; because the person at the top is honestly saying they want to win a fair election. There is a reason not to believe them,” the ambassador said.

“The citizens are responsible to their God, second to their conscience and third to the laws of Nigeria, fourth to the court of public opinion in Nigeria and finally international law and the rest of us.”

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