A United States Congressman, Christopher Smith has called on President Trump to sanction any Nigerian official who manipulates the 2019 general elections.

Smith, who is also the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, said this in a statement which he published on his official website, according to Punch.

He also expressed worry over the reported freezing of the bank account belonging to the Vice-Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi.

Smith also called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure a level playing field for all during the elections in 2019.

His statement reads: “I am very concerned by the current trajectory in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy and economy, and President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent crackdown on non-violent protests and harassment of opposition leaders, such as freezing the assets of opposition vice presidential candidate Peter Obi and the raiding of the home of two sons of opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar.

“I call upon the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that elections will be free and fair, and for the Commission to remain impartial.

“I further call upon President Buhari to use his authority to end the violence perpetrated by Fulani extremists, particularly in the Middle Belt region, and question why he has failed to do so.

“I also urge the Trump Administration to monitor the evolving situation closely, and not to hesitate to use its sanctioning authority to hold accountable any officials who subvert the electoral process or foment violence against citizens.”

You will recall that Garba Shehu described the report of Obi’s account being blocked as fake news.

Shehu also told newsmen that President Buhari never issued any order to freeze the PDP VP candidate’s bank account.