By Folasade Akpan
#TrackNigeria: Maria Arena, the Chief Observer, European Union (EU), Election Observation Mission,
says Nigerians are happy to vote their next leaders at the Presidential and National Assembly general elections.
She said this while briefing newsmen after observing the election process at a polling unit in Abuja on Saturday.
Arena said that it was important to vote and to vote freely.
She added that “we have seen a lot of Nigerians who are happy to vote, happy to be given an opportunity to vote their leaders.
“This is very important and we have to give this message to Nigerian people to vote for the future of the country.
“I think Nigeria took a very huge step in 2015 and I think that what is important is to build on this important step.”
She commended the active involvement of women, based on the number she saw at the polling units, adding that it
was important to have more women in the electoral process.
“It is important for us but more important for Nigeria to have more women in the election process but we need
more information about that.
“However, I have seen a lot of women being involved, being engaged, being committed to defend their rights in their country.
“So, I just want to support them because it is important to have this equality in such a huge country where women have a very strong role to play.”
On her impression about the election process, she said that she could not give a personal opinion, as there was a long term observation
mission which would come up with a report on observations at the end of the process.
Arena said that the mission has 90 observers all over the country and that the mission has been collecting information on the election since January.
She added that presently, the mission was working on the legal framework of the elections, the media and all the processes and that a statement would
be issued on its observations on Monday.
“It is really important for us to collect all the information from all over the country. This is the methodology of Europe and we do not want
to work with personal impressions.” (NAN)