The European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission in Nigeria has said that it will not deploy its personnel to the north-east zone during the February general elections due to the security challenges in the affected states.
The Leader of the Mission, Amb. Santiago Ayxela, stated this on Monday in Abuja when he led some members of the mission on a visit to the PDP National leadership.
He said though the mission was sent to monitor the forthcoming general elections in all states of the federation, its personnel would not cover the north-east zone because of the activities of insurgents in the region.
“For security reasons, unfortunately, we can’t deploy our personnel to North-East region,” he said.
Ayxela said that though the number of EU Election Observers in the country was minimal, they were the best in terms of quality.
He, however, expressed support for the Abuja Peace Accord signed by all political parties on Jan. 14, adding that the EU has no favored candidates or political party in Nigeria.
“We apply international rules for the election; that means we must be neutral, we don’t interfere at all as a Mission.
“It is like a football March, we are not the referee, we are just spectators,” Ayxela said.
Earlier, the PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, declared that the party was committed to the Abuja Peace Accord.
This, he said, was despite recent attacks on its campaign train by suspected supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in some northern states.
“PDP stands on the Abuja Accord, we have resolved that it is good for this country, it is good for our future, it is good for our economy.
“It is good for our image and it is good for our wellbeing,” Oladipo said.
Speaking on the attacks of the PDP campaign vehicles in some Northern states, Oladipo said the development was condemnable.
Oladipo, however, said that notwithstanding, the PDP would continue to observe and respect the agreement reached at the Abuja Peace Accord.
According to him, as the ruling party, the PDP has a unique responsibility to ensure the stability and progress of the country at all times, stressing that it also the responsibility to protect the country`s image before the international community.
“The stability of this continent to a great extent, depends on the stability of Nigeria. Nigerians are in every country of Africa, we need peace in this country,” he said.
Reports indicated that over 90 Election Observers were deployed by the EU to monitor the forthcoming general elections across the 36 states of the federation.
The EU Election Observation Mission has been in the country since November 2014 and had observed the various party primaries and other aspects of the electoral process.