HomePoliticsNigerian Minister Slams EU Election Report as Unfair

Nigerian Minister Slams EU Election Report as Unfair

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ABUJA, Nigeria – Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Minister, Nyesom Wike, has criticized the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) for its report on the 2023 general election in Nigeria, saying it did not reflect the true situation of the polls. Wike, who spoke on Monday in Abuja when he received the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, said the report was biased and did not capture the challenges and achievements of the election, especially in his state, Rivers.

 

He said the EU was supposed to be an impartial observer and not to present a distorted view of Nigeria’s electoral democracy. The EU-EOM, led by Barry Andres, had in June presented its final report on the 2023 election, highlighting six priority areas with recommendations for improving the electoral process.

 

The report had noted that the election was marred by violence, intimidation, vote-buying and abuse of incumbency. It also said that the electoral legal framework needed to be reformed to enhance transparency and accountability. Wike, however, said that the report did not acknowledge the efforts of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies to ensure a credible and peaceful election.

 

He also said that Nigerian laws could not be the same as those of the EU because of the different environments and contexts. “I did not agree with the European Union over their last report on the election in Nigeria. They are to observe, Nigerian laws can’t be the same as EU laws because they have different environments.

“In Rivers state, the EU report was different from what transpired there. How can people who believe in democracy and practice it be portrayed as people who don’t understand democracy?” he asked. He urged the foreign partners to focus on strategic development issues rather than interfering in Nigeria’s internal affairs.

“Our concern should be how to make the economy grow better. We have to cooperate and agree on specific areas of development in the Federal Capital Territory and the entire country,” he said.

Isopi, in her response, said that the EU-EOM report was based on the observations of a delegation of independent experts and had nothing to do with her own operations. She assured Wike of the EU’s continued commitment to working with him to boost development in the territory and beyond.

She also congratulated him on his re-election as the minister and expressed hope that he would deliver on his promises to the people. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy. It has a history of electoral violence and malpractice. The 2023 election was seen as a test of its democratic consolidation and stability.

Source: [Vanguard]

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