The missions expressed concerns over “widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society” during the Osun guber polls.
The European Union, United Kingdom and United States of America missions that monitored the just-concluded Osun State governorship elections have said that for the 2019 elections to be free, fair, credible and peaceful, security and party agents, at the polling units, must be neutral.
The missions, which stated this in a statement jointly issued in Abuja, expressed deep concerns over “widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society” during the Osun guber polls.
The missions pointed out that the supplementary election held on September 27 was a sharp contrast of the first governorship poll of September 22 as the former which confirmed the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner was marred by widespread violence, intimidation and irregularities.
Their statement obtained by Sunday Sun read:
“Delegations from the Missions of the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States observed the voting in the Osun State re-run election on September 27.
“We once again commend the vast majority of the voters in the state for exercising their democratic rights peacefully.
“In contrast to our overall findings on the vote of September 22, we were concerned to witness widespread incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, journalists, and civil society observers by some political party supporters and security agencies.
“Many of our findings mirror those of leading civil society groups that observed the election.
“We commend the work of INEC leadership during both elections. But it is clear that the neutrality of the security services and responsible conduct by party agents, both inside and outside polling units, will be essential to ensure free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in 2019.
“We continue to call for calm from all stakeholders and urge that any challenges to the election result be made through peaceful and lawful means.
“We restate our position of firm neutrality among all parties and candidates.
“We remain committed to supporting the Nigerian people in seeing free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections.”