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Send many election observers to Nigeria, PDP was shortchanged in 2019 — Ayu to EU

Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked the European Union (EU) to send a “large” number of electio...


Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has asked the European Union (EU) to send a “large” number of election observers to Nigeria to monitor the 2023 general election.

 

Ayu made the demand on Thursday when he received the EU election exploratory mission to Nigeria, led by Mette Bakken, at the PDP headquarters in Abuja.

 

The PDP national chairman said close monitoring of the election will prevent manipulation of the process.

 

“We are prepared as a party to do the needful as far as the 2023 general elections are concerned. But we are worried about the tendency and capacity of the state to manipulate critical technologies to our disadvantage. We need to pay close attention so that we are not short-changed again,” he said.

 

 “In the past, those were areas where the ruling APC did what they love doing best: bringing votes that subverted the will of the people. Even though we are going to police our votes, it’s important that the EU sends a large number of observers ahead of the elections.

 

“We need a large EU observer mission here. We don’t want token missions. This is because Nigeria is such a big country, with some states being bigger than some EU member-states. And we need, among the observers, people with technical capacities too. Election observation has shifted from manual to technology. You need to keep talking to the government and critical stakeholders so that the APC does not subvert the democratic will.”

 

Ayu noted that election observer missions are necessary for democratic, transparent and credible elections, which he said will discourage those manning the electoral process from compromising.

 

 “We do not want to be short-changed again. We believe we won the presidency in the 2019 general elections. We were injured in 2019, and we don’t want a second injury in 2023,” he said.

 

“To the best of my knowledge, Nigerians are very vibrant people. Even under military rule, we spoke our minds. It was through the process of speaking our minds that we formed this political party to make sure that the military handed over power.” 

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