The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria has condemned the recent acts of severe and coordinated incidents of violence, in particular the recent assassination of a Labour Party candidate in Enugu, and urged authorities to hold those responsible to account.
In a statement on Friday, EU EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews called on all electoral stakeholders to engage in a manner that reflects the spirit of the Peace Accord signed on 22nd February – on election day and in the days that follow as votes are counted and tabulated, and results are announced.
The EU EOM further urged security agencies to fulfill their responsibilities and ensure an enabling environment for peaceful elections. “The EU EOM has been following the preparations for the 25 February general elections, including the just concluded campaign activities and the conduct of political parties and candidates as well as other stakeholders. Any concerns about the conduct of the elections or its outcome should be channeled through designated election tribunals and courts as provided for in the laws of Nigeria,” the statement read in part.
The group said it will continue to observe the electoral process, including the transparency of the election administration, the impartiality of security agencies, and the independence of the judiciary. The EU Election Observation Mission has been deployed by the European Union upon an invitation from the Independent National Electoral Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The EU EOM statement comes two days after the senatorial candidate of the Labour Party in Enugu East Senatorial district, Oyibo Chukwu, was murdered. Chukwu and his personal assistant were assassinated on Wednesday when hoodlums attacked them and set their vehicle ablaze in the Eke-Otu Amechi-Awkunanaw area of Enugu.
Following the demise of the LP candidate, INEC on Friday announced that the election in the senatorial district earlier slated for Saturday, February 25, 2023, has been moved to March 11, 2023.