The dismissal of the European Union Electoral Report by both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Federal Government has raised concerns among the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG).
The Chairman of the election monitoring group, Comrade Auwal Musa Rasfanjani, issued a statement expressing worries about the gaps in Nigeria’s electoral process, which were also noted by local observers and civil society groups involved in election observation and democracy monitoring.
“The recommendations by the European Union align with the views of many civil society groups and local observers. It is imperative that the government and INEC review those recommendations and work towards addressing the gaps in the electoral processes in order to make our electoral system more transparent, accountable and participatory to restore confidence in the process,” Rasfanjani said.
He said, “Only when our government genuinely ensures that transparent and accountable, free and fair elections hold that our democracy and good governance can be consolidated and achieved in Nigeria.
“We urge President Bola Tinubu to take courage and admit to the shortcomings with the electoral process which is evident by the violence and several election petitions going on in the country and the reduction of Nigerians’ participation in the elections.
“He should emulate late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua who admitted that there were gaps in his election and committed to reform the electoral system. Therefore, TMG urges president Tinubu to ensure effective reform.
“The EU witnessed the election process and their report should not be ignored. It is disheartening to see that the government and INEC are disregarding the recommendations from the European Union who they invited to observe the elections.”
Rasfanjani further said that the government and INEC may be sending the wrong message by disregarding both local election observers and the EU Election Report.
Noting that TMG maintains that electoral misconduct should not be normalized, and the government and INEC should work towards addressing electoral corruption and impunity, Rasfanjani said such would greatly improve the electoral process in Nigeria and bring integrity.
“The EU Electoral Report and local elections observers report should not be dismissed, but rather, it should be looked into, and the necessary action should be taken to ensure free, fair, transparent and credible elections in Nigeria,” he added.