A delegation of the 2015 European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria, led by Chief Observer Santiago Fisas Ayxela (MEP) on Thursday visited the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Secretariat in Abuja.
The EU EOM delegation was received by the APC National Chairman, H.E. Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and some members of the Party’s National Working Committee (NWC) namely: National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni; National Woman Leader, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu; National Organising Secretary; Sen. Osita Izunaso; National Youth Leader, Hon. Dasuki Ibrahim Jalo and National Vice Chairman (North Central), Hon. Zakari Idde.
Speaking during the meeting, the 2015 EU EOM to Nigeria Chief Observer, Santiago Fisas Ayxela who is also a member of the European Parliament, disclosed that the delegation was on a follow-up mission to assess the implementation of the recommendations of the 2015 EU EOM to Nigeria report by various stakeholders, including the APC and to identify the opportunities, challenges and preparations ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
Santiago Fisas Ayxela: “We are very happy to be here. This is my seventh visit to Nigeria… As you know, I came for elections in 2015. I was Chief Observer of the electoral mission of the European Union. I also returned to give the President the report of our mission.
“A few months ago, we reached an agreement with the National Assembly and the European Parliament for capacity building. We exchanged views on how our respective Parliaments work and relationships between opposition and the government.
“We are here for the mutual review of the report that we made after the 2015 elections. Ofcourse, there were some recommendations. The recommendations are up to Nigeria to accept or not. It is not the European Union that should decide on that. Some of the recommendations are to be implemented by the legislature others by INEC and some by the political parties. We also hope to use this meeting to talk about preparation for the 2019 elections, which is not so far away.”
The APC National Chairman in his remarks welcomed the delegation and expressed the readiness of the Party to exchange views on the 2015 EU EOM to Nigeria report and also disclosed preparations in the leadup to the 2019 General elections.
“We use this opportunity to renew our acquaintance. A lot of very interesting things are happening in your part of the world and ofcourse in ours. It is a good opportunity to touch base again and exchange ideas and views.” He said.
Members of the EU delegation included: Ambassador/Head of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen; Deputy Ambassador, Mr. Richard Young; EU’s Head of Politics, Press and Information Section, Pauline Torehall; EU Programme Manager, Laolu Olawumi. Others are: Milena Yotova, Pierre Dybman of the EU External Service and EU Electoral Experts, Alexander Gray and Margarida Olves.