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EU Observer Mission Monitoring Voter Turnout Across Nigeria

“We have more than 100 observers across the country. Our long- term observers have been deployed since late January.”

The European Union Observer Mission to the 2023 general elections has aknowleged the large turnout of voters some polling units in Abuja.

 EU Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, speaking at the  Government Secondary School Zone 4, in Abuja which has three polling units, where the polls opened fairly on time, said the  election day marks an important milestone in the democratic life of a country.

He told reporters that:  “Today is obviously an incredibly important day not just for Nigeria, but for the region and for the continent more generally. Our mission has been deployed here since early January. So today is obviously important, but it’s also a step in the entire process that we’ve been examining over the last two months. And we will continue to stay here into early April to complete our assessment of the overall election process. Here in Nigeria.

“We have observers across the country, more than 100 observers across the country. Our long- term observers have been deployed since late January, and short term observers during this week, are at polling units throughout the country. And we work together with the other election observation missions from the African Union from ECOWAS and the Commonwealth Foundation.

“And in two days time on Monday we will publish a preliminary statement and that will contain our initial assessment of the election process having regard to all of the issues that have arisen. Within three months after the election, we will produce a final report and that will contain our conclusions and recommendations.

“So we’re here for the long term. And our main goal today is to oversee well that there is a peaceful election here that people have access and that they can exercise their vote.

“We have taken note of the high attendance here this morning. We will of course gather information from across the country. So we don’t make observations until until Monday.

“But we will gather in all that information and try to see if there are patterns, if there are certain things that happen that are merely isolated and therefore draw conclusions in due course. We do this against a methodology we have used for many, many years in many, many countries.”

 He added that the EU Mission is dedicated to non interference in the political process to complete independence and impartiality, adding that this has served  the mission well and deepened its  trust that people have in this mission.

He said: “We’re here to examine the election based on criteria that Nigeria itself has set itself. And so we hope that that has created a bond of trust and ensured that the report that we finally produced will be of some value to the people who are dedicated to deepening democracy in Nigeria.”

Michael Olugbode in Abuja