9 March 2019

Nigeria: U.S. Lawmaker Decries Nigeria's Electoral Process

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UNITED States Congressman, Gerald Connolly, has bemoaned manipulation of elections in Nigeria, killings in Syria and the situation in Venezuela which he said were not getting adequate media attention compared to controversial remarks by a new congresswoman.

At an interactive session with constituents from Virginia who paid him a visit on Capitol Hill, the Democratic congressman and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee had been asked questions about Syria, Nigeria and Venezuela.

Responding to a question from international human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe who asked what the US was doing about ISIS relocation to Nigeria where they abducted Leah Sharibu and the recent presidential elections which were shambolic, Congressman Connolly said that many observers agree that the Nigerian elections were not credible.

He said that the US must do more and wasn't doing enough as a beacon of democracy and human rights.

"There were a lot of observers who would agree with you that the recent presidential/National Assembly elections were a sham and were not honest and did not produce legitimate results. Are there enough people who care about that to speak out? ... We have to do a better job of paying much more attention to Africa... Africa is going to be the continent of the future."

He lamented the activities of Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups on the African continent and said the US was not paying adequate attention to Africa.

He also raised concerns on growing Chinese influence in the region.

Responding to another question, he said Rep Ilhan Omar's remarks were not news priority when people are dying in Syria, there's malnutrition in Venezuela and "Elections are being stolen in Nigeria" .

Congressman Connolly disclosed to the group that the venue of the interactive session was actually the situation room used by congress for intelligence briefings.

Rep Connolly is a Democrat from Virginia who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Government Oversight Subcommittee.

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