By Danladi Al-Hassan
The Presidency has welcomed the report of the European Union (EU) on the 2019 general election, promising to analyse it fully and act on the recommendations.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said the EU observers were invited to the country by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and welcomed by the Federal Government.
He said this showed that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had “good intentions”.
In its report, the EU said there were marked improvements from previous elections, although it highlighted that more work needed to be done.
It also questioned the neutrality of INEC, condemning the violence witnessed in different parts of the country.
In its response, the Federal Government said it is working to address some of the concerns raised by the organisation.
“The administration of President Buhari will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, parties, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that the improvements recommended by the EU are implemented, and that these areas of concern are addressed,” Shehu said.
“It is noteworthy that INEC is in receipt of a number of recommendations that form a part of the EU report. The presidency assures that the commission is in safe hands and happy that they are currently engaged in root and branch reviews of the 2019 general elections and will input lessons learned into its recommendations for electoral and constitutional reforms.
“We believe that the commission conducted a good election and will continue to improve on its processes and procedures. While it is regretted that the elections in a few parts of the country witnessed some violence, among other shortcomings highlighted by the EU, we note however that none of these hitches affected the overall outcome of the elections.”
Shehu expressed delight that the EU did not question the results of the presidential election, describing this as a “further proof that the polls reflected the overall will of Nigerians, and that the world is solidly behind the election of President Buhari for a second term”.