European Union monitors response to El-Rufai’s threats on foreign intervention

In response to Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s threat on foreign interventions, a team of European Union election observers has on Wednesday 6th February, 2019 stated that the threat would not deter it from observing the general elections set to hold on February 16 and March 2.

In their statement, the team, however, said that it would continue to review its security arrangements before, during and after the elections to ensure the safety of the team in carrying out their observer mission during the elections.

According to Sarah Fradgley in a statement on behalf of the EU election observation mission e stated that they are aware of the comments on Tuesday 5 February, 2019 by the Governor of Kaduna, Malam Nasir El-Rufai’s  about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections. They further stated that 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.

The EU observer mission further stated that the observation missions give commentary and analysis, and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct. In addition they stated that 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 16 February 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.

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