Saturday, 15 June 2019

Nigeria 2019 elections weren't transparent, EU Observers say in new report

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) says Nigeria’s 2019 general elections weren’t transparent and were marred by violence and harassment of voters.

The EU observer mission on Friday submitted its findings and recommendations on the 2019 general elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

EU Chief Observer, Maria Arena, while submitting the report to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday in Abuja, said the union would on Saturday make public the report of its monitoring of the elections.

Arena who did not disclose the content of the report, said the submission would be made open to journalists and members of the public to seek clarifications on the issues raised in the report.

However, making the report public on Saturday, the EU observers said the Feb. 23 and March 2 were not transparent.

“The elections became increasingly marred by violence and intimidation, with the role of the security agencies becoming more contentious as the process progressed, ” Bloomberg quoted the EU observers as saying in Abuja.

“This damaged the integrity of the electoral process and may deter future participation."

 INEC had declared Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress winner of the Feb. 23 presidential election.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, are challenging the outcome of the election at the tribunal.

In their petition before the tribunal, the PDP and Atiku are claiming that they won the presidential election as per the results fed into INEC’s server.

Atiku had said results from the server showed that he defeated President Buhari by 1,615,302 votes.

INEC’s polling figures from the 36 states and federal capital territory (FCT) gave Buhari 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But in his petition submitted at the tribunal, the PDP candidate alleged that he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes in the presidential election.

The EU says it deployed 73 observers to 223 polling units and 81 collation centres in 22 states for the 2019 general elections.

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