Ahead of the forthcoming general elections, the European Union (EU) said it will assess the conduct of the media by monitoring key TV and radio stations as well as well newspapers.
It added that it would also focus its spotlight on social media as part of its observation mission.
Head, EU Election Observation Mission to Nigerian, Maria Arena, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, assured Nigerians that the EU will not interfere with the process, adding that the mission of the EU was just to monitor and make recommendations.
Arena further disclosed that the EU had deployed 11 elections experts to Abuja and “40 experienced long-term observers who will be deployed in pairs around the country to cover all states.”
She added that “in the run up to election day, observers analyse the campaign environment, the election preparations, legal framework, the role of civil society and the media.
“On election day, they will observe the opening of the polling units, the vote process, counting of votes, tabulation of results. The EU will assess the conduct of the media by monitoring key TV and radio stations as well as newspapers and social media,” she said.
The EU observer appealed to Nigerians to be calm as the elections “are an opportunity for Nigeria to build on what was achieved in 2015 and to further strengthen the country’s democracy.
“We are here in the spirit of cooperation with Nigeria. We stand ready to deliver an impartial, objective assessment of the electoral process,” she said.