Buhari warns against foreign meddling in February polls

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned international observers against meddling in next months elections in which he faces stiff opposition from ex-Nigeria vice-president Atiku Abubakar in his re-election bid.

The warning came two days after Buhari suspended Nigeria’s Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen following allegations that he breached the oil-rich country’s asset declaration rules.

Nigeria’s media says Onnoghen was interdicted just hours before he was scheduled to swear in election panels to handle disputes in the February 16 vote. This prompted disapproval from the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) who argued that the move could undermine the credibility of the elections.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Buhari’s spokesperson Garba Shehu, the 76-year-old Nigerian President said his government would reject any external interference or insights that promote concern about the outcome of the vote.

“We are determined to ensure free, fair elections. This government will not bend the rules, and will not allow meddling in our affairs,” reads part of the statement. Meanwhile, Abubakar halted his campaign last week following the suspension calling Buhari a dictator who is seeking to manipulate the outcome of the election.

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