The European Union Election Observation Mission has said that 100 observers will be deployed for the 2023 elections.
EU EOM Chief Observer Barry Andrews stated this at the inauguration of the EU EOM to Nigeria 2023 in Abuja on Monday.
Andrews said the EU EOM was launched by the EU at the invitation of the Independent National Electoral Commission and began its work on 11 January 2023 with the arrival of a core team of 11 experts with competences in various aspects of elections.
He also noted that this is the seventh EU EOM to Nigeria since 1999, noting that for the first time in Nigeria, the mission has a dedicated Electoral Technology Analyst, who would assess the use of technologies, especially voter verification and transmission of results. .
Andrews explained: “Our team structure is that we have a Chief Observer, a Chief Observer and 11 in our core team and have been here since January 11. We have an election analyst, a political analyst, media experts, social media and senior analysts.
“Yesterday, January 29, we deployed 40 long-term observers in 20 teams of two covering 36 states across the country and we will rely on their observations and input from the data we were able to gather and collect from stakeholders. Complete the work we are currently working on.
“We will look at the implementation of the Electoral Act and all the changes that have taken place and the challenges inherent in Nigeria. Every electoral environment has its own characteristics and we know all those characteristics that affect the country. There are concerns related to the new technology, the full implementation of the Electoral Act and the work of INEC.
“Immediately after the elections we will also deploy short-term observers, which would be local hires. We are very grateful for the cooperation, not only the EU delegations here, but also Canada, Norway and Switzerland who have contributed their short-term observers to this end. In due course, we would have 100 observers who will cover the election day itself. 100 observers will see the voting, counting and tabulation procedures on February 25 and March 11.”
Andrews added that following data and observations from long-term observers, a preliminary statement would be made two days after the general election.
He said, “The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement two days after each election day and will remain in Nigeria until the completion of the entire electoral process, including the complaints and appeals processes, and the possible second round of the presidential election.”