The Observation Mission of the European Union to the General Elections of 2023 has acknowledged the high voter turnout in some Abuja polling units.
EU Chief Observer Barry Andrews, addressing at Government Secondary School Zone 4 in Abuja, which has three polling units and where the polls opened on time and fairly, stated that election day is a significant milestone in the democratic development of a nation.
He told reporters, “This is undoubtedly an extraordinarily significant day not only for Nigeria, but also for the region and the continent as a whole. Our mission has been stationed here since the beginning of January. Hence, today is significant, but it is also a stage in the process that we’ve been analyzing for the past two months. And we will be here until early April to complete our evaluation of the entire electoral process. Here in Nigeria.
“We have watchers across the nation, more than a hundred observers across the nation. Our long-term observers have been deployed across the country since late January, and our short-term observers are present at polling places across the country this week. In addition, we collaborate with the other African Union, ECOWAS, and Commonwealth Foundation election observation teams.
“And in two days, on Monday, we will release a preliminary statement containing our initial evaluation of the electoral process in light of all the difficulties that have surfaced. We will produce a final report within three months of the election, which will include our conclusions and suggestions.
Thus, we are here for the long haul. And our first objective today is to ensure that there is a peaceful election, that people have access, and that they can vote.
“We’ve taken note of the large turnout this morning. Obviously, we will collect information from across the nation. Thus, observations are not made until Monday.
“But, we will collect all of this data and attempt to determine if there are trends, or if specific occurrences are purely isolated, in order to draw conclusions in due time. We accomplish this in accordance with a system we have employed for many, many years in numerous nations.”
He noted that the EU Mission is committed to non-interference in the political process, total independence, and impartiality, and that this has served the mission well and increased the public’s faith in it.
He stated, “We’re here to analyze the election based on the parameters Nigeria has established for itself. We thus hope that this has formed a relationship of trust and ensured that the final report would be of some use to those who are committed to advancing democracy in Nigeria.”
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