By Edward Ojiah
Abuja, Feb. 6, 2019
The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has reiterated its commitment to observing the general elections following comments made by Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State against foreign interference in the process.
In a statement released in Abuja on Wednesday, EUEOM explained that the mission acting on the invitation of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the election process.
The group promised to remain impartial in carrying out its assignment.
“We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections.
“The EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country.
“The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999.
“Thus this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for the 2019 general elections.
“EUEOM give commentary and analysis and make recommendations about the electoral process.”
The mission promised to remain impartial during and after the election process.
“EUEOM 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 Feb. 16 elections.
“For the last month the mission’s team in Abuja, as well as 40 long-term observers across the country, have followed the elections.
“We have met with a wide range of candidates, parties, 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,” it stated.