Andy Esiet, Calabar
The European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission in Nigeria has pledged absolute neutrality in Nigeria’s forthcoming general elections.
The team led by the duo of Robert Hall and Diana Ferrari said that they will not violate their mandate or the oath taken not to be participants in the Nigeria’s general election holding on February 25 and March 11.
In a courtesy visit at weekend on the spiritual leader of a renowned spiritual organisation, Brotherhood of the Cross and Star (BCS), His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu with International headquarters in Calabar, southern NigerIa, Hall
commended the spiritual leader for sacrificial efforts at uniting families and communities.
According to Hall, it was imperative that the team stopped over to see the spiritual leader because from their intelligence he had much positive influence over his mammoth adherents in Nigeria and abroad.
He said, “We are election observers on assignment to Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. We received good reports about the spiritual leader and his large followers and noted that BCS is an influential community with a very large congregation in Nigeria.
“Since we are to educate the electorate on the need to participate in the Nigeria general election by casting their votes, there was the need for us to visit the Leader of BCS….Nothing can make us to violate our mandate or the oath taken not to be participants in the election.”
On his part, the BCS Leader said he was very happy over their visit and will afford them desired cooperation noting that, the forthcoming election was very important to Nigerians.
Even though he has no preferred candidate in the elections, Obi told the EU delegation that he has admonished BCS adherents to freely exercise their franchise to whoever the spirit administers to them.
He sued for a smooth and peaceful conduct of the general election, stressing that it must be “devoid of vote buying, rigging, violence and killings”.
On EU request to know more about the organization, the spiritual leader said his mission and teachings border on “love, forgiveness, peace and unity of all races and except in Russia, BCS has worship centres in several countries of the world.
He assured the EU observers of their safety throughout their stay in Nigeria, adding that he will gladly receive them again since they promised to return to the organization in continuation of their election education.