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Phrank Shaibu, an aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, has slammed the Bola Tinubu-led government for dismissing a report by the European Union (EU) on Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
We recall that on June 27, 2023, the EU Election Observation Mission presented its report on the 2023 elections to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In its final report on the elections, the EU Chief PObserver, Barry Andrews, said that its trust in INEC had been severely damaged, mainly due to the failure to upload the result of the presidential election electronically.
The EU noted that the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and signalled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability.
But in a statement on Sunday by the presidential spokesman, Dele Alake, the Presidency dismissed the report by the globally acclaimed body, describing it as “a poorly-done desk job”.
In an interview on Channels Television’s political programme, Sunday Politics, Shaibu said the electoral commission failed woefully to carry out its duties during the 2023 election.
Shaibu said it is hypocritical for the federal government to receive support from the EU for the elections and discard its findings because it is unfavourable.
The media aide to the former vice president added that the EU provided training for INEC staff and also donated equipment for INEC to conduct the elections.
He said: “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 Africa.
“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 said in September last year that it budgeted €39 million for Nigeria’s 2023 election. Most of the funding went to INEC as election support.
“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? Alake should rather be quiet rather than try to defend the indefensible.”