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Keyamo: EU mission report on 2023 polls is one-sided narrative

Keyamo: EU mission report on 2023 polls is one-sided narrative
July 05
16:24 2023

Festus Keyamo, former minister of state for labour and employment, says the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) report on the 2023 polls is a “reflection of a one-sided narrative”.

The EUEOM in its final report on Nigeria’s general election, accused Keyamo of sharing fake news on February 12 by promoting information “published by a suspicious website, accusing Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi of bribery”.

“The story quickly became viral and was in a few hours debunked,” the report reads.

Reacting in a statement on Wednesday, Keyamo said the part of the EU report which refers to his sharing fake news is “presumptuous and outside their mandate and exposes a deep-seated bias about how the so-called observers went about their assignment”.

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Keyamo said the report is very disappointing and unfortunate on the part of the observers as their first assignment is to observe and report, not to investigate claims made by candidates against one another.

“They are not journalists nor are they law-enforcement officers. Declaring any news as ‘fake’ when they don’t have alternative facts or findings by institutions statutorily empowered to investigate such claims is tantamount to taking sides on the campaign trail and trying to defend a candidate against another,” the statement reads.

“Even professional journalists, law courts and law enforcement agencies, in the course of investigating any allegation, must talk to all sides before reaching a conclusion. Where is the evidence that the EU observers talked to those who made these claims and sought to get further clarifications before rushing to write their jejune report?

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“They said I retweeted a story by a suspicious website. Pray, what makes a website ‘suspicious’? They did not elaborate. How can foreigners come into a country and declare a local news website as ‘suspicious’ (without more) and just walk away? What arrogance!”

Keyamo also accused the observers of singling out the All Progressives Congress (APC) while other local and international media had previously reported that all political parties pushed out some false stories.

“So, were they blind to the antics of the other parties? For instance, was there a single mention of tons of false reports by the PDP and LP that our candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu (who is now president) was evacuated abroad for urgent medical attention at various moments during the campaign when there was no scintilla of evidence to back that up? Is that not fake news?” he added.

“Overall, the EU report is nothing but a reflection of a one-sided narrative. And I congratulate the opposition on working closely with the EU and carting away the all-important prize of the EU final report.

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“For us, we shall make do with the consolation prize of the actual winner of the presidential election 2023.”

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