The European Union election observers has said the 2019 general elections in the country were rigged.
The observers stated this on Saturday while presenting its report of the February 23 and March 23 general elections, at a press conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
President Muhammadu Buhari who sought re-election during the exercise on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) was pronounced winner of this year’s presidential election.
The president defeated Atiku Abubakar, his major challenger and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with about 4 million votes.
While noting that the process that paved way for the president’s re-election was not transparent, the observers stated that intimidation, violence and harassment of voters by security operatives were used in perpetuating the electoral fraud.
“The elections became increasingly marred by violence and intimidation, with the role of the security agencies becoming more contentious as the process progressed,” it said.
“This damaged the integrity of the electoral process and may deter future participation,” the observers added.
The EU observers also made some recommendations on how to improve future electoral processes in Nigeria.
Addressing journalists after the press conference, Festus Keyamo, the director-general of communications for the APC candidate, faulted the EU for not coming to a conclusion in its report.
“If you observed certain anomalie, it could not have been more than 500 or 1000 polling units and if you do observe anomalies in those polling units how does that substantially affect results coming from 120,000 polling unit,” Mr Keyamo said.
“So it is not enough for you discuss the anomalies, they must discuss the overall results coming from the entire country and whether it did reflect the wishes of the people. This is what we want to know because they have problems in the US elections, there are problems in the EU and even UK elections.
“For Christ sake, we need a detailed analysis to come to a definitive conclusion about the overall result of the election,” he added.
The outcome of the exercise is being challenged by the opposition at the presidential election tribunal.
They are laying claim to have won the election based on results allegedly obtained from the electronic server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that conducted the exercise.
The commission which earlier said its software was not used during the exercise to transmit election results now claims not to own a server, despite funds being disbursed for the maintenance of the computer program.
The latest claim of the electoral body has triggered reactions from Nigerians.