European Union Replies El-Rufai, Insists to Monitor Elections in Nigeria

BY OBUTE JAMES

The European Union Election Observation Mission on Wednesday said its officials will monitor the 2019 elections in Nigeria despite threat by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

EU said its election observers are impartial, did not interfere in the electoral process and operated according to a strict code of conduct.

El-Rufai had threatened that foreigners that interfere with the election in Nigeria will go back with body bags.
He made the threat on Tuesday on NTA live programme.

The Mission stated that it was invited to monitor the 2019 elections by the Independent Natonal Electoral Commission, adding that this was the sixth time it was observing elections in the country.

EU in statement in Abuja by its Press and Public Outreach Officer, Sarah Fradgley, said while the security of its observers was of paramount importance, and would remain under constant review, “EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to and beyond February 16 elections.”

It stated, “We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections Tuesday 5 February.

“EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.
“While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance, and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to – and beyond – the 16 February elections.”

The Mission said it’s 40 long-term observers have met different categories of candidates and people across the country, including election officials, security agencies, and civil society organisations, and have enjoyed good cooperation at federal and state levels.

“The mission looks at all aspects of the election, including the campaign tone, the transparency of the election administration, the neutrality of security forces, and the independence of the judiciary, the statement said.

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