President Muhammadu Buhari and his government have been slammed by the Neo Africana Centre.
The group lambasted the Bola Tinubu-led federal government over its reaction to the report of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) on Nigeria’s 2023 general elections.
Recall that the EU recently released its final report on the general elections and highlighted the systemic weaknesses that impeded transparency, inclusiveness and transparency in the elections.
However, the presidency dismissed the report as the product of a poorly done desk job, maintaining that the election was the freest, fairest and most transparent election that Nigeria has had since 1999.
Reacting to the Presidency submission, the group stated that it was rash, reactionary, unbecoming, and suspicious.
It also cautioned the presidency against the temptation of playing judge in its own case.
Speaking via a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, Jenkins Udu, the public policy think tank opined that it was preposterous for the presidency to put itself forward in a report that was largely directed at the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The statement reads in part: “We have followed keenly and closely the activities of the European Union Election Observation Mission in the three months that it spent in Nigeria monitoring the preparations, conduct and outcome of the 2023 general elections. As a body whose core values revolve around democracy and good governance, we took more than a passing interest in the activities of EU-EOM.
“We share in the concerns it expressed about the shoddy conduct of the elections. Its position on the election is in tandem with the widely held view about the 2023 elections, particularly the presidential election. It will be self-deceit, for instance, for anybody not to acknowledge the damage which the non transmission of the presidential election results in real time inflicted on the credibility of the election. This major lapse cannot be swept under the carpet.
“However, we are more interested in its recommendations which we believe can improve our democratic processes in future if they are accepted and implemented. Even though the recommendations are largely for the electoral commission, we invite other relevant bodies, within and outside our shores, to learn a lesson or two from the report.
“We therefore find it rash, reactionary and unbecoming for the presidency to jump into the fray to denounce and discredit the report. The presidency is an interested party in this matter and should stay off the radar. The hasty attempt to impose its views on the report on Nigerians and the world at large should be viewed with suspicion and disapproval. The presidency should not pose as a judge in its own case. Doing so will be preposterous and an assault on the collective intelligence of Nigerians. While we expect concerned bodies to make the best out of the report, we repudiate any hasty denunciation that seeks to reduce the report to a partisan piece of propaganda which it obviously is not.”