Elections: EU observers visit Buhari, rule out North-East monitoring

FILE PHOTO: Voters casting their vote (3)
FILE PHOTO: Voters casting their vote

The European Union Election Observation Mission, EU EOM, on Monday ruled out the possibility of monitoring the forthcoming general elections in the North-East due to insecurity in the region.

The Chief Election Observer for EU, Santiago Ayxela, said this in Abuja during a courtesy visit to the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the mission will deploy 90 observers to monitor the election across the country except the North-East region.

He added that the first batch of 30 observers had arrived the country while the second batch would be in Nigeria by February 7 and final batch, before the elections.

“We can’t be in the North-East for security reasons.

“But we have people deployed very close to the North-East and we have contacts there and so, we will try to get better information as much as we can have on the region.

“The present situation does not allow us to go to the North-East,” Mr. Ayxela said.

He said that the planned election was important to Nigeria and the EU, stressing that whatever happened to Nigeria would affect the whole of Africa and the EU.

He said that the mission would monitor the process and conduct of stakeholders to ensure compliance with relevant laws not only on the day of the elections but before and after the polls.

“The EU EOM is a big mission. It is a mission that started in November 2014 and will be in place till mid-April.

“What happens on the Election Day is not only the problem; it is what happens during and within a space of time and how the law has been complied with.

“It is also about the propaganda, activities of the media and any possible claims after the elections.

“That is our role and not just to follow up the days of election,” Mr. Ayxela said.

Reacting to questions on how the 90 observers would effectively monitor the 120,000 polling units, Mr. Ayxela said, “it is not possible to cover everything.

“I can’t tell you that we will cover all the wards either for this election or for any other election, Nigeria is a very big country with so many inhabitants.”

He, however, expressed optimism that the delegation would meet President Goodluck Jonathan who is also the PDP presidential candidate in the February 14 election.

“But I cannot tell when, because he is the President, he is the one who will tell you the ideal moment for him to receive us.”

Also speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Mr. Buhari described the EU observers as “experienced people who had been covering other countries’ elections.

“They are qualified to come for these elections and as you have observed, they cannot cover all the 120,000 polling units but they will place people in strategic places to advise them.”



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  • Joe

    Ayxela, you and your team are not serious if you cannot go to Maiduguri, baga to monitor the election. You should be able to lay down your life for what you believe in. You guys are more interested in causing confusion after election than peace.

    • Craig Thomas

      No words truer than yours. A bunch of criminals going around as angels. But who’s to blame? When we have leaders in Africa–and particularly Nigeria–who have refused to attend to the things needed to establish generations to come. They are insanely corrupt and abysmally incompetent. Should it be a surprise then that some “Ayelala xela” would be needed before we can have a credible election? Sorry, the name reminds me of Ayelala.

  • Marquis_di_Gorgonzola

    After all, we are all aware Under-aged, Cows, goats and donkeys are part of the ‘electorate’ over there!
    The APC minions keep shouting ‘elections must take place over there’..but how many of the pretenders are ready to volunteer as observers???

    • Jika

      May be it is the underage,the cows,goats and donkeys that your principal is desperately trying to woo for votes!!!!!!!

  • Gideon Orkar

    EU una must go monitor. This is democracy we are talking about


    Lai Mohammed should dispatch his children to work as returning officers in Monguno and Konduga .

  • Michael Chima Ekenyerengozi

    CNN will use drones to monitor and report the forthcoming general elections in
    the North-East.

    CNN has been given approval to use news gathering drones in high risk locations of conflict.

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  • LindaO

    It’s a shame no EU observers can be dispatched in the North-East. The situation must be hard to monitor, but still, it’s possibly our first go at open true democracy. The irony is that most of the rigging claims were against the PDP, but the only region that will not be monitored is massively pro APC – and in the end it might just be the APC that ends up cheating.

  • Chuckwuebuka Alavavite

    It is ironic that the observers – actualy here to prevent fraud – were given an opportunity to look right in the eyes the very one who will more thant certainly try to cheat – ex dictator, war mongering GMB.

  • Ayodele Ohakim

    While this is not surprising given the fighting that is ongoing in the North-East, this comes as quite concerning for the elections, since we know Buhari doesn’t stop at calling for violence during the elections or at creating fake voter profiles and voter cards.

  • Ezekiel Akpablo

    I often wonder what are GMB’s true commitments for democracy and if he had won in 2011, if international observers would be allowed to monitor elections, assuming the country hadn’t been turned into a dictatorship. Then again, there is GEJ to vote for who has pledged time and time again that he will defend the true values of our country by improving the democratic process since his speech on the 29th of May 2010. Since then much has been done for our young democracy.