Nigeria, politics of elections and International Observers

I WAS one of four African  trade unionists who observed the 2002 Zimbabwean Presidential elections under the African Union Observer Mission. The international observers including those from Nigeria, led by former Head of Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, met daily at the Sheraton Hotel to compare notes. There was a consensus that the elections in which President Robert Mugabe had 54 per cent and opposition leader,  Morgan Tsvangirai had 40 per cent, were free and fair. It was, therefore, a shock when the Commonwealth Observer Mission led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, had a contrary report; one that was not based on observed facts.