Osun election: EU hopes votes will count, speaks on vote-buying

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The European Union, EU, Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, has expressed hope that the electorates’ votes would count in the ongoing Osun State governorship election.

The Ambassador also encouraged voters not to sell their votes, adding that vote-buying was as big an offence as election rigging.

Karlsen told reporters in Iragbiji, Osun State, that the European Union was hopeful that the poll would be a model for the 2019 general elections.

The Ambassador, who is one of the election observers, described the Osun voters as peaceful and calm.

He also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for their conduct so far.

He said, “We have been observing all morning; we are a team of 55 people, with 28 observers from around eight European countries and so far, everything looks good.

“I commend INEC so much because it’s like they have learnt from previous elections. And that is exactly what we want to see, for the people to vote for who they want democratically.

“The security situation is also commendable, everywhere is peaceful, very calm. It seems large number of people are coming out to vote. This is a good development for democracy, to decide who determines your well-being. We hope this will serve as an inspiration for the 2019 elections.”

Karlsen added that although he would not be able to make a final judgment on the quality of the election until it was over, he commended the voters for being “very calm and well-behaved.”

“They should resist all temptations to sell their votes. And we hope their votes will count because that’s the essence of democracy – to select the leader with the best solutions,” Karlsen added

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