The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria 2023, Barry Andrews, has urged authorities, candidates and political parties in Nigeria to ensure that the upcoming general elections are peaceful and further election-related violence is prevented.
He made the plea at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday to officially launch the EU EOM.
The Chief Observer said, “This is the seventh EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria since 1999. The EU attaches great significance to these elections. Every voter has the right to cast their ballot in a safe environment free from intimidation and undue influence.
“We encourage the authorities, candidates and political parties to commit to peaceful conduct prior to, during and after election day.
“Cooperation between all institutions and parties participating in the elections is crucial. The presence of a level playing field, freedom of expression, assembly and association, respect for human rights and a neutral and independent election management body at all levels are all essential for democratic elections.”
During his four-day visit to Nigeria, the Chief Observer has met with a wide range of interlocutors including state authorities, INEC, political contestants, members of the judiciary, media stakeholders, citizen observers as well as other civil society representatives to discuss the ongoing electoral process.