A TEAm of 11 election analysts and 40 observers from the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU- EOM) has arrived Nigeria ahead of the 2019 general election.
Led by Maria Arena, a Belgian and member of the European Parliament, the team addressed a press conference on Tuesday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Arena said the 2019 election is very important for Nigeria to build on the successes recorded in 2015.
She added, however, that the observer mission has no interest in seeing any particular candidates win. “We are completely independent of EU delegations and we will assess Nigeria’s commitment to electoral laws and international best practices,” she said
Arena also added that another delegation of seven members of the European Parliament will join the mission as the election draws nearer. Diplomatic staffs from EU member state embassies, as well as those from Norway, Switzerland, and Canada, are also expected to join the monitoring team.
“While the 11 election specialists are in Abuja, the 40 long-term observers will observe in all the six geopolitical zones, meeting with as many people as possible,” she added.
The team has held several meetings with stakeholders since arriving the country, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties, religious organisations, and security agencies.
It is the sixth time the European Union will be sending an observer team to monitor Nigeria’s elections. Observations and recommendations on the elections are usually contained in a report published after the elections.