EU hails Nigeria’s appetite for democracy

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…warn against complacency


The Chief Observer of the  European Union, Election Observation Monitoring  team, Barry Adrews on Saturday commended what he described as a huge Nigerian appetite for democracy.
Andrew said the appetite is good for the country’s democratic development and growth.
He however warned that the country should not be complacent with its democracy; saying it need to nurtured.

Andrew who visited some of the polling units in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, said it was interesting to see the appetite displayed by Nigerians for democracy especially during the 25 February Presidential poll.

He said, “There is a very clear appetite for democracy in Nigeria. It is clear to me that it is just an important democracy not just for Nigerians but for the whole region and the continent.
“From my interactions with stakeholders, Civil Society, Media, Judiciary.  Everybody that have stake, the voters, they want democracy . Very very keenly they want democracy.
“You cannot be complacent about democracy. It need to be nurtured. It doesn’t survive on its own,  it needs to be nurtured very carefly. Our mission is part of that overall process, including legislation of the parliament

“So to me seen people and the patience particularly at the presidential election despite the late opening at the polling units, people waited in some places the whole day.
That was really striking for me. A really remarkable sign of resilient people of Nigeria and their desire to have a real functional.democracy”

Meanwhile, the EU Election Observation team is expected to issue a preliminary report on its observations from governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on Monday.
The EU Chief Observer said, ” We will do a preliminary statement based on today’s election in two days’ time . Our overall mission here is to try to deepen the roots of democracy in Nigeria, and to be a valuable partner for those who are dedicated to that idea.”
On what should be expected from the observers’ preliminary report, Andrew said they hope not to disappoint.
He also posited that every criticism done in the spirit of constructive partnership.

“This is the seventh time we have covered elections in Nigeria. I think that underlines that there is confidence and trust in what we do, and that it adds value.
” And when we make criticisms as we do, they are done in a spirit of partnership. And for the purpose of deepening the roots of democracy in Nigeria.
” I think that’s very well understood, and the European Union’s methodology is respected from that point of view. So as to whether you can expect something new from the preliminary statement that’s coming next Monday, it will refer to the activities of today and the collation process the uploading of the results onto the INEC platform.
“So we will be able to make an assessment so we will be working very hard over the next 48 hours to arrive at that preliminary statement.
“I hope you won’t be disappointed. It will be honest, and it will be robust. And as I say, I think it’s important to emphasise it’ll be done in the spirit of constructive partnership with the authorities here in Nigeria and on behalf of the people of Nigeria most discussion.”


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