The European Union Election Observation Mission, EU EOM, has replied Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, over a threat that foreigners who intervene in the election would leave in “body bags”.
Newsworth recalls that the Governor, while featuring on an NTA programme, said: “We are waiting for the person that will come and intervene. They will go back in body bags, because nobody will come to Nigeria and tell us how to run our country.
“We got that independence and we are trying to run our country as decently as possible and we know the history of those countries that are trying to teach us these things. We have read their history.
“We also know that at their own stages of development, they went through these challenges. So please, let’s work together, let’s advise one another—but don’t lecture us.”
But stressing that it would continue doing its work in Nigeria in spite of claims of interference by El-Rufai, the EU EOM said that the INEC invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for the 2019 general elections.
In a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, Press and Public Outreach Officer of the EU Mission, Sarah Fradgley, said the EU had been invited to observe all of the general elections in the country since 1999, adding that this is the sixth time it would be monitoring elections in Nigeria.
The statement reads, “We are aware of the comments by the Governor of Kaduna about non-interference by foreigners. The EU only deploys an election observation mission when it is invited to do so by the authorities of a country.
“The EU has been invited to observe all of the general elections in Nigeria since 1999.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission invited the EU to deploy an observation mission for the 2019 general elections.
“EU election observation missions are impartial, do not interfere in the electoral process, and operate according to a strict code of conduct.
“While the security of EU observers is of paramount importance, and will remain under constant review, EU observers will continue their work across the country in the run-up to – and beyond – the 16 February elections.”