EU personnel will not cover north-east elections

Due to the security challenges being experienced in northern part of the country, the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission in Nigeria has said that it will not deploy its personnel to the nort-east zone during the general elections scheduled for February 2015.

Ambassador Santiago Ayxela, who is the leader of the mission, stated this on Monday in Abuja during his visit with some members of the mission to the PDP national leadership.

While it is true that their mission was to monitor the forthcoming general elections in all states of the federation, the personnel would not cover the north-east zones because of the present conditions there.

“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 well being,” 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.

There are over 90 Election Observers that 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.

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