The United States Institute of Peace has said it did not predict that President Muhammadu Buhari will win next year’s presidential election in Nigeria.
The Institute made the denial in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement was made in reaction to reports by some sections of the Nigerian media, excluding The Eagle Online, that the USIP in a report on the 2019 elections in Nigeria predicted victory for Buhari, who is flying the flag of the All Progressives Congress.
The Institute said what transpired and read as its prediction of victory for Buhari, whose main opposition is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, was the opinion of some of those interviewed.
The statement by the USIP reads: “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.
“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.
“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.
“As USIP is a strictly nonpartisan institution, its work on elections focuses entirely on preventing violence.”