This warning came from a statement by the US Congress in its bipartisan resolution reached recently.
“The upcoming elections in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and economy, are critical to the future of the nation,” the statement added.
“Reports of President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent crackdown on non-violent protests and harassment of opposition leaders are extremely concerning, as well as the ongoing violence that has been perpetrated by extremists, particularly in the Middle Belt region.
“The violence must be stopped, along with any subversion of the electoral process. The Nigerian government must see to free and fair elections, which this resolution calls for.”
According to the US Congress: “It is in the best interest of the United States to maintain a strong bilateral relationship with a politically stable, democratic, and economically sound Nigeria that can play a leadership role in the region and the continent more broadly.
“A credible, transparent and peaceful election this coming February would further consolidate democratic gains achieved over the last two decades.
“Nigerians are deeply committed to democracy and ensuring transparency in electoral preparations, which would build public confidence in the electoral process.
“This resolution sends the message that the people of the United States will continue to stand with the people of Nigeria in support of peace and democracy.”