The Bola Tinubu administration has been under fire from the Neo Africana Centre for its response to the European Union Election Observation Mission’s (EU-EOM) report on Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, which they have criticized as hasty, reactionary, and unseemly.
This was contained in a statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu, who cautioned the presidency not to play the judge in its case.
on Sunday, President Bola Tinubu rejected the three-month-long observation final report from the European Union Electoral Observer Mission on the 2023 general elections.
The report’s identification of persistent structural flaws that hampered openness, inclusivity, and transparency in the elections was one of its primary selling points. The report also stated that the electoral commission’s inability to secure real-time publishing and access to election results hurt public confidence in the electoral process and made it difficult to conduct fair and inclusive elections.
The president noted however that there are numerous reasons to think that the “jaundiced report,” which was based on the opinions of less than 50 observers, “was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.”
He added that several eminent organizations, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, have praised the conduct and results of the election.
According to the public policy think tank, it was absurd for the presidency to advocate for itself in a report that was primarily focused on the Independent National Electoral Commission. It disapproved of such haste and cautioned the administration against taking any acts or retaliating in a way that suggested it wanted to adjudicate its case.
The statement reads in part: “ We have followed keenly and closely the activities of the European Union Election Observation Mission in the three months that it spent in Nigeria monitoring the preparations, conduct and outcome of the 2023 general elections. As a body whose core values revolve around democracy and good governance, we took more than a passing interest in the activities of EU-EOM.
“We share in the concerns it expressed about the shoddy conduct of the elections. Its position on the election is in tandem with the widely held view about the 2023 elections, particularly the presidential election. It will be self-deceit, for instance, for anybody not to acknowledge the damage which the non-transmission of the presidential election results in real-time inflicted on the credibility of the election. This major lapse cannot be swept under the carpet.
“However, we are more interested in its recommendations which we believe can improve our democratic processes in future if they are accepted and implemented. Even though the recommendations are largely for the electoral commission, we invite other relevant bodies, within and outside our shores, to learn a lesson or two from the report.
“We, therefore, find it rash, reactionary and unbecoming for the presidency to jump into the fray to denounce and discredit the report. The presidency is an interested party in this matter and should stay off the radar. The hasty attempt to impose its views on the report on Nigerians and the world at large should be viewed with suspicion and disapproval. The presidency should not pose as a judge in its case. Doing so will be preposterous and an assault on the collective intelligence of Nigerians. While we expect concerned bodies to make the best out of the report, we repudiate any hasty denunciation that seeks to reduce the report to a partisan piece of propaganda which it is not.”