Fearful atmosphere, violence, voters’ suppression marred Nigeria’s elections — EU Observers

by Samuel Akpan
1 minutes read

The Chief Observer, European Union Observation Mission to Nigeria, Barry Andrews, has said voters’ suppression characterized the country’s electoral process in the February and March polls.

Describing voters’ suppression as a key theme during the just concluded elections, Andrews also observed that vote-buying marred the exercise.

The observations were contained in his assessment of the February 25 and March 18, 2023 polls which have been disputed by all the three other presidential candidates — Atiku Abubakar (PDP), Peter Obi (Labour Party) and Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso (NNPP).

Persecondnews reports that the EU Chief Observer’s preliminary statement was presented at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

“Vote-buying and also violent conduct created a fearful atmosphere for electorate to exercise their rights freely. Vote buying was directly observed by EU observers.

“Overall campaigns in the state election were highly competitive, organized violence attacks shortly before the polls led to a fearful atmosphere in some parts of the country,” he said.

Among other places, there was violence in Abia State at Obingwa Local Government Area where collation of results was disrupted by thugs, and also in Kudan Local Government Area in Kaduna State which witnessed massive destruction of electoral materials by political thugs.

Andrews also lamented what he called lack of level playing field for women in the political landscape of the country most especially during the governorship election.

“This demonstrates clear underrepresentation of women in political live, most importantly it also shows the lack of internal party policies to support, promote inclusion of women.

“Let me also remind you that it is up to 40 years since Nigeria signed up to the United Nations Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women,” the EU Chief Observer said.

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