Nigeria elections: Observe, don’t monitor – INEC warns local, foreign observers

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has charged accredited observers for the general elections not to go beyond observing the conduct.

Mr Mutiu Agboke, Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), gave the charge on Wednesday, in Ibadan, while addressing accredited observers.

NAN quoted him as stating that election monitoring was purely for INEC staff.

According to Agboke, there is distinction made by INEC between election observation and monitoring.

”An election monitor is an integral part of election management structure and has a role in the administration of elections.

”Only INEC and its duly authorised personnel are empowered to monitor election.

”An observer does not have any role in the administration of the election nor any control or oversight function.

”In conduct, observers are expected to be impartial, unobtrusive, eschew pre-judgement of the process and avoid involvement in disputes.

” Also they should be careful about comments in the media but ensure their report and conclusion are evidence based,” the REC said.

He further disclosed that 59 observer groups with 1,830 members were accredited for observing the incoming elections across the state.

He warned that any non accredited observer caught during the elections would be arrested.



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