The United States government has thrown its weight behind the Independent National Electoral Commission to use the Permanent Voter Cards and the Smart Card Readers in the March 28 and April 11 elections.
The introduction of the PVC and the card reader for use in the general election has been a subject of hot debate and several litigation in Nigeria.
The American government on Wednesday through its Vice President, Joe Biden, spoke with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, of the Peoples Democratic Party and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari on the forthcoming presidential election.
On Thursday, in a statement issued by the US Embassy in Nigeria and made available to our correspondent, the US Vice President commended President Jonathan and General Buhari for signing the Abuja Accord in mid-January as a show of their commitment to non-violence throughout the election process.
The statement read in part, “The Vice President further expressed the United States’ support for the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission and its work to deliver free, fair, and credible elections, in part through its essential efforts to distribute Permanent Voter Cards and help ensure that electronic voter card readers are in place and fully operational.”
Biden also noted his concern about the violence during some recent election-related events and re-emphasised the need for both presidential candidates to make clear that such violence has no place in democratic elections.
The US vice president stated further that the American government would stand with the Nigerian people in support of credible and peaceful elections, and would continue to stand with the Nigerian people whatever the outcome of the presidential poll.