The European Union (EU) has revealed that it has given the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) close to 8 billion Naira to aid the electoral umpire put in place necessary infrastructure and training that will ensure elections are credible, an official of the body said.
Speaking to Channels Television on Saturday during a breakfast programme monitored by our correspondent, the EU Managing Director (MD) for Africa, Mr Nick Westcott, said the funds were given as part of the EU’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria’s elections were also peaceful.
“We want to ensure the election is peaceful, violence-free, transparent and fair to enable everyone and anyone who wants to vote have every opportunity to do so. We want to also ensure that the result will be accepted by everybody,” he said.
The EU MD further expressed confidence that the INEC would do a good and honest job. “It would be clear without no doubt.
“We have provided global observation, with 90 people spread across the country, as independent observers to report what they see,” he said.
Mr Westcott further expressed hopes that the peace pacts signed by candidates of different political parties would be respected not only by the leaders but the followers and all the States across Nigeria.
“Listen to what your leaders are saying, to what the peace pacts are saying. Let’s make it a peaceful process. Let’s not manipulate it. Let’s not disrupt it, but let the people have their say. He said.
“What is important is an outcome everybody will accept because it is transparent.”
Mr Westcott pointed out that Nigeria’s election was important to the EU, because it is one of the biggest democracies in the world.
“The country should set examples to other African countries as well as the world.
“We have been involved with Nigeria from the onset .We have been in partnership with the country, doing business and trading with the country,” he further said.
“What matters in Nigeria really matters to us, we want a peaceful Nigeria, increasingly prosperous, so that our people can travel here and your people can travel to Europe for any form of business, they could come freely without hindrances”.
The EU MD said he would also be observing the election.
“The street of Abuja is so quiet which I have never experienced”. He said.