The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nigeria for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections on 16 February, and the Governorship and State Assembly elections on 2 March. The European Union has observed all general elections in Nigeria since 1999.
The EU has an established long-term methodology for observing elections. Since 2000, the EU has deployed over 130 EOMs across the world.
The mission’s mandate is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and to assess compliance with the international commitments Nigeria has made in regard to elections, as well as requirements in national legislation. The mission also makes recommendations for improving future elections.
Chief Observer, Maria Arena, a Member of the European Parliament from Belgium, leads the EU EOM to Nigeria.
A core team of 11 experts arrived in Abuja on 5 January. It analyses political, electoral, legal and media issues related to the electoral process. Forty long-term observers arrive on 13 January and will be deployed across the country several days later. They will observe the electoral process in their areas and report back to the core team. The EU EOM will observe in all six geo-political zones, meeting as many people as possible.
Over the election days, the mission will be joined by a delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament, and diplomatic staff from EU member state embassies in Nigeria, as well as those from Norway, Switzerland and Canada.
The EU EOM will issue preliminary statements after each election day, assessing the electoral process up to that point. The mission’s overall conclusions will be presented in a final report only after the end of the electoral process, usually a few months later.