The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria says in 2019, the country made significant improvements from previous elections it held.
Marie Arena, chief observer and leader of the mission, said this on Saturday in Abuja while presenting the mission’s final report on the general election.
Reacting to questions from journalists, Arena said the current administration has implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.
She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”
The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria. Its previous reports had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.
In 2003, the mission said the elections held under former President Olusegun Obasanjo were “marred by serious irregularities and frauds.
“In a number of States the minimum standards for democratic elections were not met. EU EOM observers witnessed and obtained evidence of widespread electoral fraud,” it had said.
The mission had also said that the “highly competitive” 2015 elections “were marred by incidents of violence, abuse of incumbency at state and federal levels, and attempts at manipulation.”
In its preliminary report on the 2019 polls, the EOM said Nigerian soldiers barred them from monitoring elections in Rivers state.
Arena also decried the violence, underage voting, and vote-buying, which she claimed marred the governorship and house of assembly elections in some states.
The court of appeal, in April, said 736 petitions had been filed to challenge the outcome of the general election.