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EU EOM 2023 Report: European Union Reacts To Tinubu Supporters’ Protest

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The European Union (EU), Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ambassador Samuela Isopi, has said the peaceful protest by supporters of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), on the 2023 General Elections, will not diminish its economic, cultural, and diplomatic relations with the Government of Nigeria.

The EU Ambassador who stated this during a press conference in Abuja, assured that the EU wants to continue to partner with Nigeria, the largest democracy in Africa.

Ambassador Isopi said the EU EOM is in no way a mission that judges the electoral outcome and does not in any way validate or put a question mark on election results.

She disclosed that the objective of the observation mission was to report what happened and more importantly to offer recommendations on how to improve the process.

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She noted that it is the responsibility of the critical stakeholders in the election ecosystem in Nigeria and abroad to decide if they want to implement the recommendations of the Observation Mission or not.

“Our experience with Nigeria has been positive, the previous reports have helped a lot in guiding the actions of the electoral umpire. I have no doubt that this case will not be different,” she said.

She expressed optimism that the protest will not impact her diplomatic relations with Nigeria negatively.

According to Ambassador Isopi, “People peacefully demonstrated in front of the delegation here. It is their fundamental right. They were here and they were very peaceful, we delegated some of our staff to interface with them there and they did not create any problem for us. Aside from the election observation mission, we are also a partner to INEC, in providing technical expertise and financial support and our cooperation continues. As far as we are concerned, we want to continue to partner with the largest democracy in Africa”.

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While noting that this is not the first time that INEC is inviting the EU to observe the election in Nigeria, the Ambassador said, EU EOM have deployed observation missions in Nigeria since 1999.

She said; “Let me start by saying that the EU EOM report is the report of an independent international observation mission deployed by EU at the request of Nigeria, specifically, at the request of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), upon invitation in writing sent by INEC to EU. This is an international election observation mission that worked on the bases of the same framework, like any other international observation mission, on the basis of the protocol of the UN on election observation. This is by no way a mission that judges the electoral outcome and does not in any way validate or put a question mark on election results. I think this is very very important to understand”.

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The envoy explained that the EU EOM in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world clearly provides a comprehensive, independent, and impartial assessment of the electoral processes.

Ambassador Isopi explained that what this means is that they assess whether the electoral process was conducted in line with international, regional but also national obligations and commitment, to democratic elections that the country is subscribed to.

Election Observation missions, she said, are apolitical and do not pursue any political objective.

Ambassador Isopi concluded that the EU is a very strong and well established and globally recognized organization with methodology and experience.

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