EU, Ireland to Buhari: Create room for credible election in Rivers

By Valentine Amanze

The Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, has called on the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that elections were conducted within the ambit of the rule of law.
Similarly, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson, declared that meaures must be on ground by the relevant authorities to check a repeat of the electoral violence on August 18, 2018 at the Port Harcourt State Constituency III.
Both ambassadors spoke on Monday at the Government House, Port Harcourt after a meeting with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Sean Hoy, said: "We must always follow the rule of law. Because election without the rule of law is not good.
"And it is not good for good governance ".
The Irish envoy also disclosed that they were in Rivers State to participate in a programme organised by INEC to improve youth participation in elections.
He words: "We emphasised that the youths must register to exercise their right to vote".
Besides, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson, commended INEC for the action it took after the violence during the Port Harcourt State Constituency III election.
"We have commended the work of INEC . They have taken an important step and stance on the Port Harcourt State Constituency III election.
"Measures should be taken so that we don't see similar events in the future elections coming up in February and March next year ", the European Union envoy said.
He expressed concern about the violence during the bye-election.
Responding, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, said that it was embarrassing that elections could not be conducted in just eight wards, saying nobody prays for a repeat of the ugly situation.
He said: "It is so embarrassing that the police cannot secure eight wards and 142 polling units. What will happen when elections will be conducted in 4,442 polling units. Violence will not help.
"I have told the international community that we want free and fair elections. Anybody who watched what happened on August 18, 2018 will know that if we had retaliated or told our people to come out, it would have been worse".
He stated that the entire world saw the purveyors of violence, saying that Nigerians know the real promoters of violence.
"We said, let the system play put so that we know what they intend to do in 2019. For us as a government and as a people, we will continue to support free and fair elections ".
While urging the international community to prevail on the security agencies to promote the enabling environment for credible elections, he pointed out that only credible polls would enhance the interest of the people.

Pictures: Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (middle); Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Sean Hoy (right); and the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlson, after a meeting with the governor at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday.

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