The European Union (EU) has denied favouring President Muhammadu Buhari above other candidates during the 2015 Presidential Elections in Nigeria.
Santiago Fisas, former Chief Observer of the 2015 EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM), and Member of the European Parliament, spoke in Abuja on Sunday while making clarification on EU assessment of the polls.
“The international community is not in favour of any candidate above others,’’ he said.
He commended former President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting defeat and sacrificing his personal ambition for the interest of Nigerians.
“The election was done in a proper way and I praise former President Goodluck Jonathan for accepting defeat.
“I think it has proved that he is a man of the state, that he put the interest of Nigeria before his own interest.
“That is an example in Nigeria and for many countries in Africa to follow, he accepted that he lost election to another party’’, he said.
Fisas said that the mission was in Nigeria to assess the present electoral reform process and the extent to which previous EU Election Observation Mission recommendations had been addressed,
He commended the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for “increasing initiatives” including an improved continuous voter registration and the merging of accreditation and voting process for off-cycle elections.
The Mission Head, however, identified areas that required urgent attention.
He listed them as provisions empowering INEC to sanction campaign violations, increase transparency in the publication of results and reinforce policies to better integrate women and youths into political life.
“We know to run for election in Nigeria is quite expensive. We also know that campaign is costly so I believe that political parties should help women in campaigning.
“It is very important to promote the participation of women in politics from the local election. Security is important and the people must be free to go to vote.
“It is important that Nigeria merge the accreditation and voting on the same moment, this is important for the comfort of the people,’’ he added.