The European Union International Election Observation Mission has said it would not risk its me and officers as election monitors in the areas notorious for the activities of Boko Haram. Such areas are concentrated in the Norht East, comprising Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Bauchi states.
The Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria, Santiago Ayxela, told journalists shortly after holding a closed door meeting with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja that Mission intends to deploy 90,000 election observers to Nigeria.
Ayxela who said that his delegation will also meet with the President Goodluck Jonathan this week said that though the Mission will not risk sending observers to the north-east, it hopes to observe all the happenings leading to the February elections, including the build-up campaigns, the Election Day events and post-election occurrences.
“We can’t be in the north-east for security reasons. But we have people deployed very close to the north-east and we have contacts there and so, try to get better information as much as we can have on the north-east. But the present situation does not allow us to go to the north-east,” he said.
Ayxela said the EU observer team has been involved in the monitoring of political party primaries and national conventions since November.
“First, I want to thank General Buhari for the opportunity to have this interview here. The European Election Mission is a big mission. It is a mission that started in November and will be in place till mid-April. What happened on the Election Day is not only the problem.
“It is what happened during and within a space of time, how the party primaries were done, how the law has been complied with, the propaganda, activities of the media and any possible claims after the elections. That is our role and not just to follow up the days of election.” [myad]