***We’ll make use of recommendations permissible by law – INEC
The Presidency on Saturday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the report of the European Union on the 2019 general elections, adding that the recommendations would be implemented during the next elections.
EU had expressed reservations on the conduct of the 2019 General Election just as it made 30 point recommendations for electoral reforms in Nigeria.
The Presidency’s reaction was contained in a statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.
It observed that the EU reported “improvements” in the conduct of the elections, adding that, in spite of the setbacks recorded in some states, the overall results showed that the Independent National Electoral Commission did well.
Shehu stated, “The administration of President Buhari will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, parties, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that the improvements recommended by the EU are implemented, and that these areas of concern are addressed.
“It is noteworthy that INEC is in receipt of a number of recommendations that form a part of the EU report.
“The Presidency assures Nigerians that the commission is in safe hands and happy that they are currently engaged in root and branch reviews of the 2019 general elections and will input lessons learned into its recommendations for electoral and constitutional reforms.
“We believe that the commission conducted good elections and will continue to improve on its processes and procedures.
“While it is regretted that the elections in a few parts of the country witnessed some violence, among other shortcomings highlighted by the EU, we note however that none of these hitches affected the overall outcome of the elections.”
Also, INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Osaze Oluwole-Uzezi, who claimed not to have seen the EU observers’ report, said they would implement the recommendations in accordance with Nigeria’s laws.
He said, “We can’t react to a report which we haven’t seen. We will, on receipt, study it and react appropriately. The recommendations, which we find suitable and within our purview and consistent with our laws, will be implemented accordingly while we will engage other stakeholders, including the National Assembly, to see about other desirable changes to the process.”