Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the European Union has pledged to support credible polls in Nigeria.
Speaking during a visit to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki at the Government House in Benin City, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Samuela Isopi, said Nigeria’s progress is of importance as its partner and continental neighbour.
“Today is 70 days ahead of the elections so we also try to use the opportunity of our visit to engage with political actors and to discuss issues relating to elections.
“The reason is simple. The European Union has been supporting election processes in Nigeria since the return to civilian rule. We have consistently deployed election observers’ mission and we will do the same thing for the next coming elections.”
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According to her, the Union has supported the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders by providing technical assistance as well as expertise.
The envoy noted that Europe just like Nigerians are interested in free, fair and credible elections in Africa’s most populous nation.
Describing Europe as Nigeria’s main neighbour, the EU Ambassador stated that they expect to have a “strong, democratic Nigeria and that is why we have supported Nigeria’s democracy and we will continue to do so.”
On his part, Obaseki said commended the EU for its partnership with Nigeria and sub-nationals like Edo State, even beyond politics.
“As you know, the EU has always supported the electioneering process. They have studies and reports they have done over the years on the conduct of all elections since this republic,” he said.
“Gleening from these reports, they have come to check, see and advise on areas on what we can do to make sure that we have properly conducted transparent fair and safe elections this time around.
“They have come with a true spirit of partnership to see how we can work together, support our efforts not only on a political level but also ensure that as we continue to strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and the EU as well as sub nationals between Nigeria and the EU.”