By Victor Adeoti
Osogbo – The European Union (EU) Election Observers say they will monitor Saturday’s governorship election in Osun with an eye on vote-buying.
Mr Ketil Karlsen, the EU ambassador to Nigeria, said this at a news conference on Friday in Osogbo.
Karlsen said that the EU was hopeful that the modalities put in place by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to check vote-buying during the election would yield positive results.
While commending INEC on its preparation, Karlsen said the global community would be watching the conduct of the election, being the last before the 2019 general elections.
Karlsen, who noted that more than 28 diplomatic observers from different countries were in the state for the election, said EU was committed to the continued consolidation of democracy in Nigeria.
“We are neutral in this election. We are not here to promote any candidate or political party.
“But we are here to promote the process that would lead to credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria and we hope to see credible election on Saturday.
“We are also here to see stability and continuity in Nigeria,” Karlsen said.
Also speaking, Mr Dominic Williams, the Political Councillor, British High Commission, said the Osun election would be a signal to the 2019 general elections.
Williams said the EU would be watching to see how the election would be conducted and its impact on the 2019 general elections.
“We want free, fair and credible elections and we want candidates to show respect for the rule of the game and shun violence.
“We also appeal to the more the 1.2 million people that have collected their Permanent Voter Cards to come out en mass to vote,’’ Williams said.
In his remarks, Mr David Young, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States embassy, said the US was committed to transparent and credible elections in Nigeria.
Young said the EU would continue to support the process that would promote peaceful elections.
While commending INEC for what it had done so far, Young urged the security agencies to be neutral in the election.