By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – AHEAD of next month’s general elections, the European Union, EU, Monday, it will not deployed observers to the North East geo-political zone because of insurgency in the area.
Speaking at Wadata Plaza, National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observer Mission in Nigeria, Ambassador Santiago Fisas, said, “For security reasons, unfortunately, we can’t deploy into North East region.”
Fisas who led members of the mission to the Secretariat and was received by the PDP National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, said that the EU Election Observer Mission has been in the country since November last year, and had monitored the primaries of the political parties. It said the Mission would not observe the general and presidential elections in the North East states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Gombe.
The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observer Mission in Nigeria who declared that over 90 Election Observers were deployed by EU to monitor the forthcoming election in all the states but they will not cover the North East because of the activities of insurgents in the zone, said, “We have been here since mid-November for observations. We followed the primaries, election propaganda, media and possible claims after the election.”
According to him, the number of EU Election Observers in the country was minimal, but they remain the best in terms of quality, just as he expressed support for the Abuja Peace Accord and disclosed that the EU has no favoured candidates or political party, adding, “We apply international rules for the election; that means we must be neutral, we don’t interfere at all as a mission.
“I will give you an example: it is like a football match, we are not the referee, we are just spectators.”