Breaking: Buhari reacts to European Union’s election report

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said the European Union Observation Mission’s report on the 2019 general elections is a welcome development.

“The Presidency has welcomed the report of the European Union (EU) on the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, promising to analyse it fully and act on the recommendations,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement Saturday night.

“The administration of President Buhari will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, parties, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that the improvements recommended by the EU are implemented, and that these areas of concern are addressed,” he added.

The European Union observer mission during the presentation of its report said Nigeria’s 2019 general elections were not transparent and were marred by violence and harassment of voters.

“Overall, the EU EOM concluded the 2019 elections were marked by severe operational and transparency shortcomings, electoral security problems and low turnout,” said EU Chief Observer, Maria Arena, at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

She added that the polls were “marred by violence and intimidation, with the role of the security agencies becoming more contentious as the process progressed.”

However, the Chief Observer also said the country made significant improvements from previous elections it held.

Arena said the current administration implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.

She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”

The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria and had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.

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