EU election observer mission pledges neutrality in general elections

European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission in Nigeria has pledged absolute neutrality in Nigeria’s forthcoming general elections.

The team, led by Robert Hall and Diana Ferrari, said they would not violate their mandate or the oath taken not to be participants in Nigeria’s general election holding on February 25 and March 11.

They spoke at the weekend during a courtesy visit to the leader of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS), Olumba Olumba Obu, at the international headquarters of the organisation in Calabar.

Hall commended the spiritual leader for his efforts at uniting families and communities.

According to Hall, it was imperative that the team stopped over to see the spiritual leader because from their intelligence, he had much positive influence over his mammoth adherents in Nigeria and abroad.

He said: “We are election observers on assignment to Cross River and Akwa Ibom states. We received good reports about the spiritual leader and his large followers and noted that BCS is an influential community with a very large congregation in Nigeria.”

“Since we are to educate the electorate on the need to participate in the general election by casting their votes, there was the need for us to visit the leader of BCS.
“Nothing can make us to violate our mandate or the oath taken not to be participants in the election.”

Responding, the BCS leader said he was very happy over the visit and will give them desired cooperation, stressing that the coming election is very important to Nigerians.

Even though he has no preferred candidate in the elections, Obi told the EU delegation that he has admonished BCS adherents to freely vote whoever the spirit administers to them.

He advocated a smooth and peaceful conduct of the general election, stressing that it must be “devoid of vote-buying, rigging, violence and killings.”

On EU request to know more about his organisation, the spiritual leader said his mission and teachings border on “love, forgiveness, peace and unity of all races, pointing out that, except in Russia, BCS has worship centres in countries of the world.

He assured the EU observers of their safety throughout their stay in Nigeria, adding that he will gladly receive them again since they promised to return to the organisation in continuation of their election education.