The United States Institute of Peace has denied predicting victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 general election in Nigeria.
The institute, in a statement on its website on Tuesday captioned: ‘Correcting a Media Error: USIP Makes No Prediction on Nigerian Election’, stressed that the report by many Nigerian media that the Institute’s 20-page report on risk to a peaceful election in Nigeria, predicted victory for Buhari was false.
USIP therefore stressed that the reports were erroneous, adding that the institute was non-partisan and its only interest in elections was that of preventing violence not on the outcome.
“A few Nigerian newspapers reported erroneously this week that the U.S. Institute of Peace has made a prediction about the possible outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election.
“USIP never makes predictions about election outcomes and has not done so in this case. The Institute’s work on elections is confined to helping nations avoid electoral violence.
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“The erroneous news accounts misrepresent USIP’s recent 20-page report on the risks to a peaceful 2019 election in Nigeria.
“This study is based on interviews across the country with more than 200 Nigerian respondents—election administrators, political party representatives, security officials, civil society and youth groups, the media, traditional and religious leaders, prominent community figures, business people, academics and others,” it said.
The USIP report noted that in the interviews, “some respondents” discussed their own views of Nigerian public perceptions about an election outcome.
“A Nigerian news account mis-reported this passage as a USIP prediction of the outcome, and other Nigerian news organisations repeated the error,” it said.
As USIP is a strictly nonpartisan institution, its work on elections focuses entirely on preventing violence.