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President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja told the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) to Nigeria’s elections starting in February, that he was impressed by the preparations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and was optimistic that the electoral body would deliver on its mandate of a credible poll.


Receiving the EOM, led by the Chief Observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, at the State House, the President said he had listened earlier in the day, to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.

According to President Buhari, “I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day.”

The President told the EU delegation that Nigeria had grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better year after year.


“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections,” he said.

President Buhari said that Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”

He stressed that the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, administration had the good sense of identifying the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.


The President thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections, and in the affairs of the nation generally.

The EOM team, accompanied by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head, European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.

The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.
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President Buhari with R-L: Chief Observer EU EOM Ms. Maria Arena, Deputy Chief Observer Ms. Hannah Roberts, Head of EU Delegation Amb. Ketil Karlsen and Political Analyst EU EOM Dominic Howell as he receives in Audience European Union Election Observation Mission in State House on 22nd Jan 2019






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German Justice Minister Katarina Barley (L) talks to Minister for Family, Pensioners and Youth Franziska Giffey during the weekly cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

German Justice Minister Katarina Barley said on Tuesday she was disappointed by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to break a deadlock over Brexit and suggested Britain hold a second referendum.


May on Monday sought to break the parliamentary impasse over Britain’s exit from the European Union by proposing to seek further concessions from the EU on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border.

“Yes, I’m disappointed … that’s not the way forward,” Barley told Deutschlandfunk radio. She said May had missed an opportunity to drum up support for the Brexit deal agreed with the EU.

Barley, who has both German and British citizenship, said the draft deal would not be changed. But she added there could be leeway in terms of time if there was a second referendum. “This could pacify the situation,” she said.


Michael Roth, German minister for European affairs, also expressed his disappointment with May’s speech, saying on Twitter: “Where is the plan B? Just asking for a friend…”

A German government spokesman said late on Monday that Germany continued to advocate for an orderly exit and that it expected the British government to agree soon on proposals that are backed by a majority of parliament.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday she would do all she could to make sure Britain leaves the EU with an agreement.
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Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party

British opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn moved a step closer to paving the way for another referendum on European Union membership by trying to use parliament to grab control of Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May.


With the clock ticking down to March 29, the date set in law for Brexit, the United Kingdom is in the deepest political crisis in half a century as it grapples with how, or even whether, to exit the European project it joined in 1973.

After May’s Brexit divorce deal was rejected by 432-202 lawmakers last week, the biggest defeat in modern British history, some lawmakers are trying to take control of Brexit from May’s weakened minority government.

May on Monday proposed tweaking her deal, a bid to win over rebel Conservative lawmakers and the Northern Irish party which props up her government, but Labour said May was in denial about the crushing defeat of her plans.

Labour put forward an amendment seeking to force the government to give parliament time to consider and vote on options to prevent a ‘no deal’ exit – a course May has repeatedly refused to rule out.


Among the options, Labour said, should be a permanent customs union with the EU and “a public vote on a deal” – both proposals that May has ruled out.

As the British parliament, which traces its roots through a 1,000 years of history, tries to avoid what most lawmakers think would be a disorderly Brexit without an approved deal, there is still no clear majority for an alternative option.

Lawmakers will debate and vote on the next steps on Jan. 29.