Fears over Obasanjo’s hyperlink with international ballot observers – The Nation Newspaper


There may be nervousness in political circles over the composition of among the worldwide observer missions deployed within the nation for the final elections. The presidential election is slated for Saturday.

The favored pondering is that former President Olusegun Obasanjo could have been influential to the composition and emergence of among the chairmen of among the observer teams.

The ex-President, who’s backing former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, is suspected to have bought an agenda to those observers, based mostly on a  notion of what a supply described as a “willy-nilly” regime change.

A number of the teams are suspected to be within the nation to “work to the reply” by prejudging the election as “not free, honest and credible” — a notion that has been debunked.

Nevertheless it was gathered that the Federal Authorities is “paying eager curiosity” to their actions.

The Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) has accredited 144 observer teams, together with 116 home and 28 worldwide groups.

The international teams are:  African Bar Affiliation;  African Parliament of The Civil Society; African Union; British Excessive Fee; Democrat Union of Africa; ECOWAS; Elections Cameroon, Republic of Cameroon; and the  Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.

Theere are additionally Embassy of France; Embassy of Japan; Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Embassy of The Republic of Korea; European Centre for Electoral Help; European Union; German Worldwide Company;  Excessive Fee of Canada;  and the Worldwide Basis For Electoral System.

The Worldwide Human Rights Fee; Worldwide Peace Fee; Worldwide Republican Institute; the Nationwide Democratic Institute; the Community for Solidarity; and the Empowerment and Transformation for All have been additionally accredited to cowl the elections.

Different worldwide observers are Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation; Pan African Girls Initiatives;  Pan African Youth Coaching and Enlightenment Centre;  Queen Zara Basis for Human Sources Growth; The Commonwealth; and america Embassy.

A number of the observer teams are being led by some ex-leaders, together with  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 Area (the Chief Observer, European Union Election Commentary Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria).

Ms Area is a member of the European Parliament from Belgium. Kikwete is “a well-known pal of Obasanjo” a supply stated, including: “He was common on the Ota Farm Home Dialogue within the eighties. They even labored collectively on the African Union on the NEPAD programme.

Obasanjo can also be believed to be near Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf. “Everyone knows Nigeria’s position in Liberia throughout the Obasanjo Presidency,” the supply stated, pleading to not be named as a result of he’s not permitted to speak to the media.

One other supply spoke of an intelligence report that among the observer teams are in Nigeria to work in keeping with “pre-determined agenda” of their international locations. Apart from, the supply famous that it was mistaken for some ambassador to be transferring around the nation on “election tourism” with out the international minister’s permission.

The Federal Authorities had final week raised the alarm that the primary opposition Peoples Democratic Celebration( PDP) was planning to ship a delegation to some western capitals.

A supply, who spoke in confidence, stated: “The safety report accessible to the federal government indicated that some international observer teams are already biased and they’re within the nation to behave out a script already written for them.

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

“These teams have prejudged the election as not free, honest and credible. That is going to be their final verdict, regardless of what the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee ( INEC) does.

“Essentially the most disturbing within the safety report is the truth that some chairmen and members of those observer teams have hyperlinks with a former President who’s suspected to have influenced their selections for a function.

“A couple of of them had been visiting the ex-President up to now and a few have been even helped to energy by means of the worldwide goodwill of the ex-leader.”

The intelligence supply added that among the observers could have been taking part in into the fingers of these plotting “an electoral stalemate and drag Nigeria right into a political disaster to place an interim authorities in place”.

“They’re able to do no matter they’ll to get President Muhammadu Buhari out of energy.”

Responding to a query, the supply stated the surveillance on some observer teams confirmed that they have been violating the code of conduct put in place by INEC.

On its web site, INEC says: “All accredited observers shall abide by the code of conduct for election observers, which is accessible for obtain on the INEC web site (www.inecnigeria.org).

“INEC reserves the fitting to cancel and withdraw the accreditation of any organisation if its members or brokers breach the code of conduct.’’

However some missions have already assured Nigerians that they are going to be neutral.

The  Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Dr. Jakaya Kiwete, on Monday stated the mission will probably be neutral in its evaluation of the elections.

He stated the group will  concern an interim assertion on its preliminary findings on the primary set of elections on February 18.

He stated the18-man group of observers was  drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

They have been deployed to watch the opening, voting, closing, counting and the outcomes administration processes.

That is the sixth time a Commonwealth Observer Group will probably be observing elections in Nigeria since 1999.

Kikwete, a former President of Tanzania,  made the clarifications  in an announcement in Abuja towards the backdrop of hysteria over the roles of the group and others.

He  stated: “Our Group was constituted following an invite from the Impartial Nationwide Election Fee, drawing collectively 18 eminent individuals from throughout the totally different areas of the Commonwealth, together with Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

“We are available in our personal particular person capacities, bringing a variety of experience within the areas of election administration, political growth, regulation, human rights, civil society, gender, youth, in addition to media.

“As a gaggle, we’re right here to watch the organisation and conduct of the election course of as a complete, and can type an neutral and unbiased evaluation of its credibility.

“The Commonwealth Observer Group will contemplate the pre-election interval, polling day itself, in addition to the post-election interval. Our principal job is to evaluate whether or not the elections have been carried out in response to the nationwide, regional and worldwide requirements to which Nigeria has dedicated itself, together with its personal legal guidelines.

“On election day, we’ll observe the opening, voting, closing, counting and the outcomes administration processes.”

The group will submit a last report back to the Commonwealth Secretary-Normal and, thereafter, share with the Authorities of Nigeria, INEC, political events, Commonwealth governments, then make it public.

The group expressed hope that its presence will verify the unwavering solidarity of the Commonwealth with Nigeria because the nation conducts the elections.

The group nevertheless inspired all residents to “play their half in guaranteeing peaceable and credible elections this weekend.”

The Head of EU EOM, Maria Area, stated: “It’s a nice honour for me to steer this necessary EU Election Commentary Mission to Nigeria. I’m hopeful that our statement will present a significant contribution to the electoral and democratic course of in Nigeria.”

In an announcement, the EU EOM stated: “The EU solely deploys an election statement mission when it’s invited to take action by the authorities of a rustic.  The EU has been invited to watch the entire common elections in Nigeria since 1999. Thus, that is the sixth time the EU is observing elections in Nigeria.

“The Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee invited the EU to deploy an statement mission for the 2019 common elections.

“EU election statement missions give commentary and evaluation, and make suggestions concerning the electoral course of. EU election statement missions are neutral, don’t intrude within the electoral course of, and function in response to a strict code of conduct.”

However the Buhari Media Organisation( BMO) has cautioned Kikwete towards being utilized by Obasanjo former President.

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An announcement  by the Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary of BMO,  Cassidy Madueke, the group stated: “Many Nigerians are frightened that the pinnacle of the Commonwealth observer group could also be swayed by Obasanjo’s skewed pre-election place that the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) doesn’t have the integrity to conduct free, honest and credible elections.

“This concern, we all know, is because of the long-standing friendship between the 2 former Presidents which started lengthy earlier than Kikwete turned the pinnacle of the Tanzania authorities in 2005. However we’re inspired by the values that the Commonwealth holds sacrosanct, and the truth that the pinnacle of the election observer group has a observe file as a peacemaker, particularly within the Nice Lakes area of East Africa.

“So we hope that Kikwete would resist the stress that may absolutely come from former President Obasanjo who believes that he has a divine position to find out the winner of the Presidential election.”



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