European Union reveals that it has spent a total of €100m monitoring Nigerian elections since 1999

EUROPEAN Union (EU) officials have revealed that the community has spent a whopping sum of over €100m since 1999 to date to ensure that free and transparent elections hold in Nigeria as it monitors polls.


Next year, Nigeria will hold general elections and the EU will be sending monitors to observe the process as usual. Manji Wilson, the electoral administration and communications expert at the European Centre for Electoral Support, said despite the donations, the EU did not have any special interest in any candidate of any political party.


He added that the EU has also offered support to Nigeria in other areas of human endeavours such as health, education, justice, human trafficking and irregular migration. Speaking in Abuja while delivering a paper titled An overview of the European Union support for democratic governance in Nigeria: Gains and lessons learnt, Mr Wilson also spoke on the treatment being given to Nigerian youths by political parties through unnecessary discouragement and higher fees.


The event was jointly organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), the European Union and the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria. It was designed to equip journalists as elections loom.


Mr Wilson said: “The EU is supporting the conduct of election in Nigeria because as a member of the international community that signed several treaties, it behoves on the EU to provide such support. At the end of the party primaries, about 218 young person's got the nominations of the political parties but it is quite significant that many as those that indicated an interest could not afford the price for the nomination forms and could not be nominated."


In his paper titled Pitfalls of Election Reporting, the chairman of Daily Trust Newspapers editorial board Mahmud Jega, said: “The worst it could get was governors seizing radio stations to announce election results in 1983. Accuracy is more important than speed, often breached by reporters and newspaper websites, so a journalist must verify information as you can be misled or even betrayed by an authoritative or reliable source.”