The EU missions in Nigeria, have released a joint statement confirming and condemning the widespread incidents of violence and voters intimidation in Saturday’s 16th November 2019, Governorship Elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa States in Nigeria.
The EU Missions under the ‘Diplomatic Watch’, in their statement released on 17th November 2019, confirmed that they deployed their Election observers to both states to monitor the elections, and the reports they got were not a pleasing one, as according to them, there were reports of fatalities and people missing, including INEC staffs.
The statement by the EU Missions on their final take on the outcome of the Kogi and Bayelsa State Elections reads:
DIPLOMATIC WATCH STATEMENT ON BAYELSA AND KOGI ELECTIONS:
The Diplomatic Watch deployed teams from Austria, the European Union Delegation, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States to the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States on 16th November.
We express our alarm at reports of widespread incidents of violence and intimidation, some of which were witnessed by our teams in Kogi. There are reports of fatalities and people missing. Including INEC staffs. Our thoughts are with all victims and their families.
We encourage all stakeholders, in particular, political leaders, to call for calm and we encourage security agencies to investigate thoroughly and bring perpetrators to justice.
We are also concerned by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.
We commend the commitment and resilience of voters in both states who came out to exercise their democratic rights. We express our sympathy for those affected by the violence, including ordinary voters, INEC officials, members of the NYSC, civil society, and the media. All should be able to carry out their fundamental role in the democratic process free from intimidation and harassment.
As long-standing friends, we have been present at every major election in Nigeria since 1999. We remain committed to working impartially with Nigerian authorities, INEC in particular, as well as civil society to consolidate and deepen democracy”.
We are still awaiting the final and official results from INEC in both Kogi State and Bayelsa State, as both leading political parties and their supporters are already claiming victory in both states.