- The federal government of Nigeria has rejected the final report of the European Union (EU) election observation mission on the 2023 polls, describing it as a poorly-done desk job
- The government criticised the "limited coverage" of the EU mission and stated that the report relied on rumours, social media commentaries, and opposition statements
- Presidential spokesperson Dele Alake said the 2023 elections were credible, peaceful, and the best organized since 1999
This was disclosed in a statement on Sunday, July 2, by Dele Alake, special adviser to the president on special duties, communications and strategy.
The federal government described the EU mission report as a poorly-done desk job.
It said the EU mission had limited coverage of the elections, adding that the organisation based its findings on rumours, social media commentaries and statements made by the opposition parties.
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“Sometimes in May, we alerted the nation, through a press statement, to the plan by a continental multi-lateral institution to discredit the 2023 general elections conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The main target was the presidential election, clearly and fairly won by the then candidate of All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Alake said.
“For emphasis, we want to reiterate that the 2023 general elections, most especially the presidential election, won by President Bola Tinubu/All Progressives Congress, were credible, peaceful, free, fair and the best organised general elections in Nigeria since 1999.
“There is no substantial evidence provided by the European Union or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.
“EU-EOM observed the elections through 11 Abuja-based analysts, and 40 election observers spread across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. With the level of personnel deployed, which was barely an average of one person per state, we wonder how EU-EOM independently monitored election in over 176,000 polling units across Nigeria.
“We would like to know and even ask EU, how it reached the conclusions in the submitted final report with the very limited coverage of the elections by their observers who, without doubt, relied more on rumours, hearsay, cocktails of prejudiced and uninformed social media commentaries and opposition talking heads.
“We are convinced that what EU-EOM called final report on our recent elections is a product of a poorly done desk job that relied heavily on few instances of skirmishes in less than 1000 polling units out of over 176,000 where Nigerians voted on election day. We have many reasons to believe the jaundiced report, based on the views of fewer than 50 observers, was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.”
2023 elections: Nigerians have moved on, says Alake
Alake further noted that the EU mission report on the elections cannot stand, saying the country has moved on and the citizens appear “satisfied” with the leadership of President Bola Tinubu.
“We strongly reject, in its entirety, any notion and idea from any organisation, group and individual remotely suggesting that the 2023 election was fraudulent,” Alake said.
“Our earlier position that the technology-aided 2023 general elections were the most transparent and best organised elections since the return of civil rule in Nigeria has been validated by all non-partisan foreign and local observers such as the African Union, ECOWAS, Commonwealth Observer Mission and the Nigerian Bar Association.
“Unlike EU-EOM that deployed fewer than 50 observers, the Nigerian Bar Association that sent out over 1,000 observers spread across the entire country for same election gave a more holistic and accurate assessment of the elections in their own report.
“As a country, we have put the elections behind us. President Tinubu is facing the arduous task of nation-building, while those who have reasons to challenge the process continue to do so through the courts. In just one month in office, Nigerians appear satisfied with the decisive leadership of President Tinubu and the manner he is redirecting the country to the path of fiscal sustainability and socio-economic reforms.
“We urge the EU and other foreign interests to be objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs of our country and allow Nigeria to breathe.”
What EU said about Nigeria's 2023 elections
On Tuesday, June 27, the EU mission presented its report on the general election in Abuja.
The chief observer, Barry Andrews said the report was based on the analysis of compliance with Nigeria’s regional and international commitments for democratic elections.
Andrews faulted INEC for the operational challenges and glitches experienced with the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and the result viewing portal, saying the discrepancies severely damaged public confidence in the electoral body.
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2023 elections: What INEC said about EU's report
On Wednesday, June 28, INEC also disagreed with the findings of the EU mission report, saying it is unfair to judge the commission and the entirety of the polls based on a few glitches.