Preliminary Statement of the Joint NDI/IRI International Observer Mission to Nigeria's March 9 Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Elections

Monday, March 11, 2019

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This preliminary statement is offered by the international observation mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to Nigeria’s March 9, 2019 gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections. The 20-person mission, with members from 11 countries, was co-led by Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, Senior Associate and Regional Director for Central and West Africa (NDI); and John Tomaszewski, Regional Director for Africa (IRI). The mission visited Nigeria from March 4 - 11, 2019, and deployed 10 observer teams to 10 states covering all six geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The IRI/NDI deployment for the March 9 elections underscores the significance of the state level polls for the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria. 

Through this statement, NDI and IRI seek to: reflect the international community’s interest in and support for democratic electoral processes in Nigeria; provide an accurate and impartial report on the electoral process to date; and offer recommendations to consolidate democratic gains and improve future elections. The mission builds on the findings of three joint IRI/NDI pre-election assessments conducted in July, September and December 2018; an observation mission deployed for the February 23 national elections; reports submitted by members of the NDI/IRI mission observing the March 9 state-level polls; and additional reports prepared by thematic technical experts and in-country staff. 

The mission conducted its activities in accordance with Nigerian law and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. The mission collaborated closely with the European Union (EU) observation mission and with Nigerian citizen observer groups. The IRI/NDI mission is grateful for the hospitality and cooperation it received from all Nigerians with whom it met, especially voters, government officials, the Chairman and members of the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) and polling officials, party members and candidates, citizen election observers, civic activists and members of the National Peace Committee (NPC).

NDI Statements on Nigeria's 2019 Elections:

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