The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for Nigeria 2023, Barry Andrews, has urged Nigerian authorities, candidates and political parties to ensure that the upcoming general elections are peaceful and that further Election-related violence.
He made the request at a press conference in Abuja on Monday to officially launch the EU EOM.
The chief observer stated: “This is the seventh EU election observation mission in Nigeria since 1999. The EU attaches great importance to these elections.
“Every voter has the right to cast their ballot in a secure environment free from intimidation and undue influence.
“We encourage authorities, candidates, and political parties to commit to peaceful conduct before, during, and after Election Day.
“The cooperation between all the institutions and parties that participate in the elections is crucial. The presence of a level playing field, freedom of expression, assembly and association, respect for human rights and a neutral and independent election management body at all levels are essential for democratic elections,” said Andrews.
During his four-day visit to Nigeria, the Chief Observer met with a wide range of interlocutors, including state authorities, the Independent National Election Commission, political contenders, members of the judiciary, media stakeholders, citizen observers and others. representatives of civil society. to discuss the ongoing electoral process.
The 2022 Electoral Law has introduced new measures aimed at improving various aspects of the conduct of elections. As part of its overall analysis, the EU EOM will closely monitor its implementation.
For the first time in Nigeria, the mission has a dedicated election technology analyst who is evaluating the use of technologies, especially voter verification and results transmission.
A media analyst and a social media analyst are also conducting an assessment of the role of traditional media as well as social media and digital communication during the process.
The EU EOM began its work almost three weeks ago with the arrival of a core team of 11 experts with expertise in various aspects of elections.
Since January 29, 40 long-term observers in teams of two have been following the electoral process in all states of Nigeria. Seven members of the European Parliament, along with some 40 locally recruited observers from 25 EU Member States, Switzerland, Norway and Canadian representatives in Nigeria will join the mission shortly before election day.
In total, around 100 observers will observe the voting, counting and tabulation procedures on February 25 and March 11. The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement two days after each election day and will remain in Nigeria until the completion of the entire electoral process, including the complaints and appeals processes, and any possible runoff of the presidential election.
The EU EOM has been deployed by the EU following an invitation from the Independent National Electoral Commission.