European Union election observers have called on Nigeria to consider urgent electoral reforms after identifying “systemic failings” in the recent presidential, parliamentary and governorship elections.

The EU mission, which was in Nigeria between January and April, said the elections were marred by serious operational and transparency shortcomings, electoral security problems and low turnout. President Muhammadu Buhari won 56% of the votes to secure a second term in office.

But the victory has been challenged by the main opposition challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He has alleged irregularities in the polls.

The EU mission report said journalists were subjected to harassment and some independent observers were also obstructed in their work, which compromised scrutiny of the electoral process. Among the report’s recommendations was that the procedures for the collation of results be improved.

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