Atiku, Obi slam Presidency over criticism of EU’s report on 2023 elections

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Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, the candidates for the People’s Democratic Party and the Labour Party in the 2023 election, have slammed the Presidency for rejecting the European Union’s final report on the February 25 presidential election.

In its report, the EU Observer Mission criticised the polls for having “persistent systemic weaknesses.”

The PDP, the LP, and their candidates are contesting the election results, claiming that the polls were unreliable.

However, the Presidency rejected the EU’s allegations that the election that gave victory to President Bola Tinubu was invalid in a statement released on Sunday, calling the EU observers’ report a “poorly done desk job.”

Read Also: Atiku’s witness alleges INEC deleted results on 110 BVAS machines in FCT

The Chief Observer of the EU Election Election Observation Mission, Barry Andrews, had in a press briefing last week noted that “the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signal a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability.”

The EU EOM offered 23 recommendations for consideration by the Nigerian government that would improve future elections.

However, in the statement titled ‘We reject European Union’s conclusions on 2023 general elections,’ the President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Dele Alake, alleged bias and an intention to “impeach the integrity of the 2023 elections” which it described as the “best organised general elections in Nigeria since 1999.

In his reaction, the Special Assistant to the former-Vice President on Public Communications, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, claimed that the EU’s final report on the elections of 2023 demonstrated that the results of the election were not a reflection of the desire of Nigerians who flocked to the polls to cast their ballots.

He criticised Alake and the Presidency for attempting to discredit the EU report.

Shaibu said: “Even primary school children who did not vote know that INEC failed woefully and that Tinubu rigged the last election. The presidential election was held on February 25, 2023 and yet as of July 2, 2023, the result of the election has not been fully uploaded. This is despite the fact that this election was the most expensive in the history of West African politics.

“How can an election in which the full results have not been fully uploaded after nearly five months be described as credible by any sane human being?”

“The EU not only provided training for INEC staff but also donated equipment only for INEC to conduct a shambolic poll. So why would Alake claim that the EU has no right to speak when it was the largest single donor to INEC? Mr Alake should rather be quiet rather than try to defend the indefensible,” he noted.

In his own statement, acting National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Obiora Ifoh, described the Federal Government’s response to the EU report as ‘medicine after death.’

Ifoh said: “Labour Party stands by the position of the EU observation mission. We have always said that this election was massively rigged in favour of the APC and their candidate.

“What the FG is saying is just medicine after death. Even the blind can see, the deaf can hear and they know this election was manipulated. Without sounding immodest, evidence was given at the tribunal, as you are aware.

“Whatever thing the FG is saying clearly shows that INEC is not in any way independent. It is at the whims and caprices of the government and we know it. But Nigerians are hoping that the tribunal will right the wrong by correcting it. That’s where we stand.

“So there is no need to defend the integrity of INEC. Nigerians already know the winner. It is very clear even from the evidence before the tribunal.”

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