EU observers call for peaceful, credible elections in Nigeria


EU observers call for peaceful, credible elections in Nigeria

European Union election observers recently called for peaceful, credible and transparent national elections to take place in Nigeria. This call comes ahead of the February 16th Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Background of the Elections

Nigeria's 2018 elections were postponed just hours before the polling day. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which under the constitution is responsible for conducting elections in Nigeria, cited operational and logistical issues as the main reason for postponing the elections. This forced Nigerians to wait for some seven weeks for the process to be restarted again.


Nigeria’s Preparations for the Elections

In the lead-up to the February 16th elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission has been making preparations to ensure a smooth election process. This includes:

  • Deployment of Voting Materials: INEC has deployed all necessary electoral materials to the states for the polls to take place without any hiccups.
  • Sensitization of Voters: INEC has been carrying out a voter sensitization campaign in order to educate the people on their rights and steps to follow during the election.
  • Ensuring Security: The Nigerian government has been taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety of its people during the elections.

EU’s Call for Credible Elections

The European Union (EU) election observation mission in Nigeria has called on all stakeholders to ensure that the elections are peaceful, credible and transparent. The mission commended the Nigerian security agencies, political parties and civil society organisations for their efforts to ensure peaceful elections.


The EU was also critical of any attempts to interfere with the process and urged all stakeholders to respect the independence of the INEC. They also called on the citizen to maintain peace and remain civilly engaged in the electoral process.


The EU election observers are hoping that the elections will go smoothly and bring credible and effective leadership to the country. With the country having gone through a challenging period of delay due to operational and logistical reasons, the EU is hoping that these elections will take place without any disruptions for the good of the people of Nigeria.
The European Union Election observation mission has called on the Government and all Nigeria citizens to ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful elections on the 23rd February 2019.

The mission is being headed by Chief Observer Santiago fijo y Vieira and supported by 31 long-term observers and approximately 400 short-term observers currently deployed around the country. According to EU statements, the international observers have already met with representatives from all relevant stakeholders in Nigeria, from political parties to youth, women and traditional leaders.

The mission has declared its commitment to a “democratic and transparent electoral process in the country, which delivers a peaceful, credible and successful outcome for the citizens of Nigeria”.

In particular, the mission has called for improved security during the election period and for all political parties and their supporters to recognize the importance and necessity of downplaying ethno-religious associations in the elections. They have emphasized the need for all parties to abide by the Electoral Act 2006, to reject any kind of electoral misconduct and to create a level playing field in terms of access to and use of state resources such as media, national resources and funds.

The EU mission is also calling on State authorities to ensure the safety of voters and political candidates, as well as accessible and secure polling stations. Furthermore, the Mission wants to ensure that all Nigerians have access to voter registration and are able to participate in the elections.

To ensure the success of the election no matter the political results, the EU mission has also reiterated its commitment to observe the entire election process, from voting and counting to transportation and the determination of the final results. Observers are set to monitor polling and counting in about forty polling stations in each of the thirty-six States in Nigeria.

The EU welcomes the dedication of Nigerians to the election and the steps taken by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prepare for these elections and extend its full support to them in delivering to the nation a successful and safe electoral process.