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EU not in Nigeria to pick a leader for the country – Envoy 

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Head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West Africa States, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen

The Head of the European Union delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West Africa States, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, has said the EU delegation’s mission to Nigeria is not to select a leader for the country in the February 16, elections.

Karlsen made the comment, Friday, during a courtesy visit to Governor Seriake Dickson in the Government House, Yenagoa.

Stating that the EU does not have any political aspiration in the country, the Ambassador stressed that the body was only committed to the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

He said Nigeria sent a strong message to the international community with the outcome of 2015 general elections, that it was possible to have elections with acceptable results.

According to him, EU has interest in supporting the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria, as part of efforts to secure the stability, development and creation of opportunities for its citizens.

Karlsen charged Nigerians, especially youths, to contribute to the achievement of the desired free, fair and credible elections.

He said: “We are visiting at this important moment ahead of the Presidential elections and of course the state elections in so many parts of Nigeria to express to you, the Governor and your team the importance we attach to free, fair, credible and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

“We are strong believers in the consolidation of democracy as the best, if not the only way to continue stability and development and creation of opportunities for ordinary Nigerians.

”And that is why we reiterate again and again that for the EU and the international community, we are not here to select leadership for Nigeria. That cannot be and should not be our aspiration.”

Responding, Governor Dickson commended the EU and its partner agencies for embarking on various projects that support and promote development and stability in communities.

The Governor, however, expressed concern over conduct of security agencies in the forthcoming elections.

He assured that Bayelsa was committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.

According to him, the international community acted right to remind the country of its responsibility and duties to do what is right, fair and internationally acceptable, as a responsible member in the comity of nations.


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