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EU reacts to El-Rufai’s ‘Violence Comments’ about interference by foreigners

The European Union has reacted to comments by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, about non-interference by foreigners in the general elections.

El-Rufai was reported as saying that members of the Global Democratic Institutions who are not working for a peaceful election in Nigeria will return to their countries in body bags.

His comments however drew the attention of the opposition party, who are now threatening to withdraw the peace accord that was signed.

A statement by the Press Secretary to the EU Observer Mission, Sarah Fradgley, states that they (EU) do not interfere in elections but rather analysis and make suggestions.

“The EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis and make recommendations about the electoral process.

“EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct”.

Read Full Statement Below:

We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners during a talk show on the elections Tuesday 5 February.

The EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country.

The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999. Thus this is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria.

The Independent National Electoral Commission invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for the 2019 general elections.

EU election observation missions give commentary and analysis and make recommendations about the electoral process. EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.

While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to – and beyond – the 16 February elections.

For the last month the mission’s team in Abuja, as well as 40 long-term observers across the country, have followed the elections. We have met with a wide range of candidates, parties, election officials, security agencies, and civil society organisations, and have enjoyed good cooperation at federal and state levels.

The mission looks at all aspects of the election, including the campaign tone, the transparency of the election administration, the neutrality of security forces, and the independence of the judiciary.

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