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Fears Over Obasanjo’s Link With Foreign Poll Observers



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There is tension in political circles over the composition of some of the international observer missions deployed within the usa for the general elections. The presidential election is slated for Saturday.

The popular questioning is that former President Olusegun Obasanjo may additionally had been influential to the composition and emergence of a number of the chairmen of a number of the observer agencies.

The ex-President, who is backing former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is suspected to have bought an schedule to these observers, primarily based on a belief of what a supply defined as a “willy-nilly” regime trade.

Some of the businesses are suspected to be in the united states to “work to the solution” by prejudging the election as “now not unfastened, truthful and credible” — a belief that has been debunked.

But it become amassed that the Federal Government is “paying keen interest” to their sports.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has authorized a hundred and forty four observer companies, inclusive of 116 domestic and 28 worldwide teams.

The foreign corporations are: African Bar Association; African Parliament of The Civil Society; African Union; British High Commission; Democrat Union of Africa; ECOWAS; Elections Cameroon, Republic of Cameroon; and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.

Theere are also Embassy of France; Embassy of Japan; Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Embassy of The Republic of Korea; European Centre for Electoral Support; European Union; German International Agency; High Commission of Canada; and the International Foundation For Electoral System.

The International Human Rights Commission; International Peace Commission; International Republican Institute; the National Democratic Institute; the Network for Solidarity; and the Empowerment and Transformation for All have been additionally approved to cover the elections.

Other international observers are Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation; Pan African Women Projects; Pan African Youth Training and Enlightenment Centre; Queen Zara Foundation for Human Resources Development; The Commonwealth; and america Embassy.

Some of the observer companies are being led by means of a few ex-leaders, which includes ex-Tanzanian President Dr. Jakaya Kikwete (Commonwealth Observer Group); former Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (African Union); ex-Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (ECOWAS); and Maria Arena (the Chief Observer, European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria).

Ms Arena is a member of the European Parliament from Belgium. Kikwete is “a well known buddy of Obasanjo” a source stated, adding: “He become ordinary on the Ota Farm House Dialogue within the eighties. They even worked together on the African Union on the NEPAD programme.

Obasanjo is likewise believed to be close to Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf. “We all recognise Nigeria’s role in Liberia for the duration of the Obasanjo Presidency,” the supply said, pleading now not to be named because he isn’t always permitted to speak to the media.

Another source spoke of an intelligence file that a number of the observer corporations are in Nigeria to work in line with “pre-determined time table” in their countries. Besides, the supply cited that it turned into incorrect for some ambassador to be shifting round the u . S . On “election tourism” without the overseas minister’s permission.

The Federal Government had final week raised the alarm that the primary competition Peoples Democratic Party( PDP) changed into making plans to ship a delegation to a few western capitals.

A supply, who spoke in self belief, stated: “The protection report to be had to the government indicated that some foreign observer agencies are already biased and they may be within the usa to behave out a script already written for them.

“Some nations already accused of interfering within the inner affairs of Nigeria have exerted a lot affect at the observer missions to discredit the ballot .

“These organizations have prejudged the election as no longer free, honest and credible. This is going to be their last verdict, irrespective of what the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) does.

“The most traumatic in the safety file is the truth that some chairmen and members of these observer businesses have links with a former President who is suspected to have prompted their picks for a reason.

“A few of them have been travelling the ex-President within the beyond and some have been even helped to energy thru the global goodwill of the ex-leader.”

The intelligence source delivered that a number of the observers can also were playing into the fingers of these plotting “an electoral stalemate and drag Nigeria right into a political disaster to place an meantime authorities in place”.

“They are prepared to do anything they are able to to get President Muhammadu Buhari out of electricity.”

Responding to a query, the supply said the surveillance on a few observer groups confirmed that they were violating the code of behavior installed location with the aid of INEC.

On its website, INEC says: “All accepted observers shall abide with the aid of the code of conduct for election observers, that’s available for down load at the INEC internet site (www.Inecnigeria.Org).

“INEC reserves the proper to cancel and withdraw the accreditation of any company if its contributors or marketers breach the code of behavior.’’

But some missions have already assured Nigerians that they will be unbiased.

The Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Dr. Jakaya Kiwete, on Monday stated the assignment could be impartial in its evaluation of the elections.

He said the group will issue an interim declaration on its preliminary findings on the first set of elections on February 18.

He said the18-man crew of observers changed into drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

They have been deployed to examine the outlet, voting, ultimate, counting and the consequences control approaches.

This is the sixth time a Commonwealth Observer Group can be looking at elections in Nigeria on the grounds that 1999.

Kikwete, a former President of Tanzania, made the clarifications in a announcement in Abuja in opposition to the backdrop of anxiety over the jobs of the institution and others.

He said: “Our Group become constituted following an invitation from the Independent National Election Commission, drawing collectively 18 eminent persons from throughout the exclusive regions of the Commonwealth, such as Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

“We are available our own character capacities, bringing a extensive variety of know-how within the regions of election administration, political improvement, regulation, human rights, civil society, gender, young people, in addition to media.

“As a set, we are here to observe the business enterprise and behavior of the election manner as a whole, and will shape an unbiased and unbiased assessment of its credibility.

“The Commonwealth Observer Group will consider the pre-election length, polling day itself, as well as the publish-election duration. Our predominant mission is to assess whether the elections were carried out according to the national, local and international requirements to which Nigeria has dedicated itself, which include its personal laws.

“On election day, we are able to look at the opening, balloting, closing, counting and the effects management methods.”

The institution will publish a final record to the Commonwealth Secretary-General and, thereafter, percentage with the Government of Nigeria, INEC, political parties, Commonwealth governments, then make it public.

The group expressed desire that its presence will verify the unwavering harmony of the Commonwealth with Nigeria as the united states conducts the elections.

The group however endorsed all residents to “play their component in making sure peaceful and credible elections this weekend.”

The Head of EU EOM, Maria Arena, stated: “It is a brilliant honour for me to lead this critical EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria. I am hopeful that our observation will offer a meaningful contribution to the electoral and democratic method in Nigeria.”

In a declaration, the EU EOM said: “The EU handiest deploys an election statement assignment while it’s far invited to accomplish that by way of the government of a rustic. The EU has been invited to observe all of the overall elections in Nigeria seeing that 1999. Thus, this is the 6th time the EU is watching elections in Nigeria.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission invited the EU to install an statement task for the 2019 trendy elections.

“EU election remark missions deliver commentary and analysis, and make suggestions about the electoral process. EU election statement missions are impartial, do not intervene within the electoral method, and operate according to a strict code of behavior.”

But the Buhari Media Organisation( BMO) has counseled Kikwete against being utilized by Obasanjo former President.

A statement by using the Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary of BMO, Cassidy Madueke, the organization said: “Many Nigerians are involved that the top of the Commonwealth observer institution can be swayed by means of Obasanjo’s skewed pre-election role that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does no longer have the integrity to conduct unfastened, honest and credible elections.

“This situation, we realize, is due to the lengthy-standing friendship between the 2 former Presidents which began lengthy before Kikwete have become the top of the Tanzania authorities in 2005. But we’re advocated by using the values that the Commonwealth holds sacrosanct, and the fact that the head of the election observer crew has a music record as a peacemaker, specifically inside the Great Lakes place of East Africa.

“So we are hoping that Kikwete might withstand the pressure a good way to honestly come from former President Obasanjo who believes that he has a divine role to decide the winner of the Presidential election.”

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