The African Union Commission announced Tuesday that it will be sending a 90-strong observer mission to Nigeria for this month’s elections.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country goes to the polls on February 25th amidst a wave of crises in the runup to the vote with dire shortages of cash and fuel.
The African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) is headed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who helped broker a deal to end two years of the Ethopia-Tigray war in Northern Ethiopia and is currently involved in peace efforts in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The AU said the objectives of the Kenyatta-led mission is to provide an “accurate and impartial assessment” of the electoral process, offer recommendations for any improvement in future polls and to demonstrate AU support “towards consolidation of democracy, peace, stability and development in Nigeria.”
Nearly 100 million people will vote to choose the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, who steps down after two terms as head of state.
There are 18 candidates on the ballot, but only three are considered the top contenders.
Bola Tinubu, a veteran from Buhari’s ruling party, will face off with the main opposition’s Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, and veteran presidential contender, and Peter Obi from the smaller Labour Party.