The European Union Election Observer Mission to Nigeria during the 2023 general elections says it has identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward.
The Chief Observer of the Mission, Mr Barry Andrews, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during a presentation of its priority recommendations based on its observation of the general elections
held on February 25, March 18, and April 15.
Some of the key areas listed by the Mission are ambiguities in the law, the establishment of a publicly accountable process for the selection of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) members, ensuring real-time publication of results as well as access to election results.
It also highlighted the need for protection for media practitioners, while decrying the discrimination against women in elective and appointed positions as well as impunity regarding electoral offences.
Andrews said the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signalled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
He further noted that there was a need for political will to achieve improved democratic practices in Nigeria and called for inclusive dialogue between all stakeholders on electoral reform.
In a similar vein, the EU Observer Mission on Monday presented its final report on the 2023 general elections to INEC.
According to a tweet by INEC, the delegation of election observers was received by the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, and national commissioners of the electoral body.
The EU Election Observation Mission was deployed by the European Union upon an invitation from INEC, the commission had said.
The Executive Director of the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth, and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa, Samson Itodo, has stated that the report of the 2023 general elections by the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission is not a reflection of the integrity of the election outcome.
“I don’t think that the intention is to influence the current cases being handled by the court, it is not in any way an attempt to interfere with that process; it is just part of the practice in the election observation ecosystem,” he maintained
Earlier, the EU Mission identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process and presented its recommendations to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.
Speaking on the development, Itodo noted that the EU’s verdict is a welcome development, adding that the issues highlighted are not new to the international community.
The YIAGA director said that the country already has an existing bilateral relationship with the international communities and does not exist in isolation in its dealings.
“There is nothing wrong with the timing of the European Union’s postmortem report on Nigeria’s 2023 elections