The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has slammed the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) to the 2023 general election in Nigeria, describing it as “inaccurate” and “misleading.”
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Wike, who spoke on Monday when he received the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, said the report did not give the true position of the last election, especially as it concerned his state, Rivers.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the EU’s failure to serve as an impartial observer during the polls and for presenting an inaccurate report of Nigeria’s electoral democracy.
Recall that the EU-EOM, through its chief observer, Barry Andres, had in June presented its final report on the last Nigerian general elections, particularly the presidential election won by Bola Tinubu.
The body highlighted six priority areas with recommendations.
The observers gave recommendations like removing ambiguities in the law, establishing a publicly accountable selection process for INEC members, and ensuring real-time publication of and access to election results.
Others are providing greater protection for media practitioners, addressing discrimination against women in political life, and addressing impunity regarding electoral offences.
Wike, however, said Nigerian laws cannot be the same as that of the EU because of the peculiarities of both environments.
“I didn’t agree with European Union over the last report on election in Nigeria. They are to observe, Nigerian laws can’t be the same with EU laws because they have different environments,” he said.
“In Rivers state, the EU report was different from what transpired there. How can people who believe in democracy and practise it, be portrayed as people who don’t understand democracy?
“Our concern should be how to make the economy grow better, we have to cooperate and agree on specific areas of development in the Federal Capital Territory and the entire country.
“Foreign partners should be concerned on strategic development irrespective of the areas,” he said.
In her remarks, Isopi said the election report was put together by a delegation of independent observers and has nothing to do with her own operations.
She, however, pledged the Union’s continued commitment to working with the Minister to boost development in the territory and beyond.