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EU offers to stay put in Nigeria despite poll shift

EU offers to stay put in Nigeria despite poll shift
February 10
18:19 2015
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The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has promised to stay back in Nigeria and observe as events unfold in the lead-up to the postponed general election.

Speaking on Tuesday, Santiago Fisas, the chief observer of the mission, said he acknowledged the views cited by the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the six-week extension.

The EU mission also noted the statements by respective security chiefs who unanimously reiterated that safe elections could not be guaranteed at this time.

“We are seriously concerned at this delay and the reason given, security is critical but must not be political,” he said.

“People have to be able to vote, elections have to be held so that government is accountable. We look to the security agencies to give full support to INEC and all the people of Nigeria in the holding of polls on March 28 and April 11.”

The mission commended the peaceful reaction to the postponement so far, saying it would continue observing the electoral process.

“We encourage all political parties, candidates, supporters and other stakeholders to consider the extra time as an opportunity to further prepare for the elections,” he said.

“More voters can collect their Permanent Voter Cards and candidates can elaborate on their proposed policies.”

Fisas emphasised that for citizens to have confidence in the electoral process, the polls should not be further delayed.

“People need to know this and to see what is being done by the different authorities to make this happen.

“We will be here in different parts of the country observing the next crucial weeks in the run up to the election and beyond.”

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