The United States Department of Interior has granted conditional permits to some diaspora Nigerians who are planning to protest the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The protesters under the aegis of the Nigerian American Coalition for Justice and Democracy, Inc. in a memo from the permit granted by the United States Department of the Interior, said the aim of the protest is to express their displeasure and rejection of the election.
According to the convener of the protest, Franklin Ekechukwu, “Nigerian election was conducted on February 25, 2023, the institution that conducted the election did not follow their guideline nor rule of law in accordance with democratic principles.
“We in the diaspora are demonstrating to call the attention of the US government and Biden administration to not recognise the projected winner.”
The protest is scheduled to hold on April 3, 2023, at Lafayette Park, from 8 am to 12 pm with an anticipated 100 participants.
However, the permit allows about 100 protesters to converge on the iconic Lafayette Park in Washington D.C. on April 3 for four hours. Located across the street from the White House, the park is a prominent fixture in American history.
The United States Department of the Interior said the organisers and anyone at the protest must “comply with all reasonable directions of the United States Park Police”.
The protesters were warned that “all sideways, walkways and roadways must remain unobstructed to allow for the reasonable use of these areas by pedestrians, vehicles, and other park visitors.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, March 1, declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Tinubu had polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 6,984,520 votes.
The LP’s Peter Obi had 6,101,533 votes to come third and candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Rabiu Kwankwaso with 1,496,687 votes.
Atiku and Obi said the election was flawed and accused the ruling APC and the electoral body of rigging the ballot in Tinubu’s favour.
Both candidates have asked the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) to order INEC to pronounce them as the winner of the election and declare that Tinubu was not qualified to run for office of Nigeria president.