The FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, on Monday, strongly criticized the European Union (EU) for its report on the 2023 Nigerian presidential election.
According to him, the report didn’t accurately reflect the election’s reality and instead fostered a misleading impression, especially within the electorate of Rivers State.
Wike expressed his stance during a visit to his office by the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi.
Chief Observer Barry Andres led the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) in June when they released their conclusive report on the general elections.
The report spotlighted six key priority areas and provided recommendations.
Wike, however, said Nigerian laws could not be the same as those of the EU because they have different environments.
- “I didn’t agree with the European Union over the last report on the election in Nigeria. They are to observe, that Nigerian laws can’t be the same as EU laws because they have different environments.
- “Our concern should be how to make the economy grow better; we have to cooperate and agree on specific areas of development in the Federal Capital Territory and the entire country.
- “Foreign partners should be concerned with strategic development irrespective of the areas,” the minister said.
Speaking specifically on the report on River State, the former governor of the state said that the report misrepresented what happened in Rivers, stating that the representatives of EU in the state overgeneralized certain specific events and used them to determine what transpired in the state.
- “I was surprised like in Rivers State. I ask, ‘How many of you were in Rivers State to visit the 6, 886 or thereabouts number of polling units?’ Sometimes, you send one or two persons.
- “So, if you have seen some infractions in 20 polling units, is that enough to make a general conclusion? And you said, there in Rivers State that they did not allow the opposition to campaign which is not correct.”
Responding to the concerns raised by the FCT minister, the EU ambassador said the report was put together by independent observers and had nothing to do with her operations.
Isopi assured the minister of the union’s dedication to enhancing development in the territory and beyond.