We’ll Remain in Nigeria Till End of Polls, Say EU Election Observers

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By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The European Union’s Long Term Elections Observers led by Ms. Andreas Staeritz and Mr. Henrik Westerby have said that they will remain in Nigeria until after the 2019 general election, despite the postponement.

The fate of international election observers who had flown into the country for the election billed for last Saturday and March 2 had been a cause of worry to many as to whether they will dump the assignment and return to their countries.

Ms. Staeritz, who led her team of foreign observers to a meeting with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State on Monday said they will remain in the country to conclude the job before returning to their countries.

“We have already extended our stay in Nigeria until the elections are concluded in mid-March,” she said.

The PDP Presidential Campaign Council Chairman, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze; state party Chairman, Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu; and the Campaign Council DG, Dr. Harry Oranezi, had led members of their party to a meeting with the observers to discuss the consequences and expectations arising from the abrupt postponement of the general election.

Meanwhile, the leadership of PDP in the state also met with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for the state, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji, to discuss issues of concerns about the forthcoming election.

The PDP, which was represented by party’s Presidential Campaign Council Chairman, Obaze; state party Chairman, Nwobu; and the Campaign Council DG, Oranezi, raised concern about the close of campaigns by the commission.

Obaze, who spoke for PDP, conveyed the party’s concerns about the sanctity of election materials that has been deployed in the field and the non-distribution of agent tags.

He said: “The umbrella suspension of campaigns is adversely affecting state Assembly candidates.

“We also need to inspect the sensitive materials for the elections, to be sure they have returned to the vault of the CBN, just like we inspected them when they arrived the state.”

In his reply, the REC promised to look into the issues raised, assuring them that he would do the needful within the limit of his powers to ensure that they were addressed.