The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic , Party (PDP) in Edo State, Dan Orbih, hosted the European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, at his residence in Benin City.
The PDP State Chairman in Edo State deliberated extensively with the EU Ambassador on various political issues in Nigeria, including the conflicts inherent in the preparations for the 2020 governorship election in Edo State. Their discussions also extended to issues on the judiciary, illegal migration and women trafficking as well as the role EU have been playing to assist in the political and economic development of Nigeria.
Ketil acknowledged the role and importance of the opposition in strengthening democracy, improving governance and leadership in the country. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria commended the positive role of the Edo PDP under the leadership of Chief Orbih.
Ambassador Ketil lamented that the lives of international observers were in danger during the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Kogi State, decrying increasing desperation and political violence in Nigeria. He berated Nigerian politicians who he said are making elections violent in Nigeria; adding that Nigerian politicians are showing too much desperation for political power. He appealed for peace in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria reiterated EU support for new electoral law in Nigeria, advocating more pressure and sincerity of purpose for the enactment of the electoral law. He admitted that the oppositions “…are knocking on an opened door,” in seeking the EU support for electoral law review.
Ketil revealed that the EU has over 3,000 projects in the Niger Delta, adding that the EU is partnering and corroborating with Edo State government in many projects.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria in an interaction with PDP leaders at the visit, canvassed for gender balancing and increased women participation in politics and governance. He decried the proportion of Edo indigenes involved in women trafficking and illegal migration, pointing out the role the EU has been playing to assist in educating and rehabilitating those repatriated and caught up in the illegal trade.
Ketil promised that EU observers will be in Edo State monitor the entire process of the governorship election.