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ECOWAS appoints Abdulsalami Abubakar as leader of solidarity mission to Niger
Abuja, 9th December, 2015ECOWAS appoints Abdulsalami Abubakar as leader of solidarity mission to Niger

PIC. 4. IMG_3158The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has appointed the former military Head of State of Nigeria, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), to lead a special delegation of experts on a high-level solidarity and pre-election fact-finding mission to Niger Republic. This was disclosed during the visit of the former head of state to the ECOWAS Commission, on Wednesday, 9th December, 2015.

In a welcome remark the President of the Commission, Mr. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, who was represented by the Vice-President of the Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewa McIntosh, expressed his great pleasure for the visit and thanked Gen. Abubakar for accepting to lead the delegation. He said the choice was borne out of the consistent role the elder statesman has been playing in the consolidation of peace and democracy in Africa and around the world adding that ECOWAS is privileged to tap from the vast experience, leadership and diplomatic skills of Gen. Abubakar.

In his response, the former Nigerian Head of State thanked ECOWAS for finding him worthy to serve in this capacity and providing him once again with the opportunity to work for the region, towards peaceful transition, consolidation of democracy and good governance. He promised to do his best in ensuring that the contribution of the delegation is felt by the people of Niger Republic and the region as a whole.

Earlier in her remarks the Commissioner, Political Affairs Peace and Security of the ECOWAS Commission, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, said the choice of Gen. Abubakar is based on past successful mediation within the sub-region and Africa. She added that, the involvement of the Nigeria’s past leader as the Head of Delegation will add value to this very important assignment and inspire other members of the team.PIC. 2. IMG_3183

Aside General Abdulsalami Abubakar, , other members of the team are: Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, Commissioner, Political Affairs Peace and Security; Mr. Bakary Fofona, Electoral Expert and President of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of Guinea and Treasurer of ECONEC; and Mrs. Florence Iheme, Programme Manager, Early Warning Directorate. Others are Mr. Francis Oke, Head of Electoral Assistance Division and Ms. Mariame Camara, Programme Officer, Mediation Facilitation Division.

The high-level solidarity and pre-election fact-finding mission to Niger Republic is being conducted in preparation for forthcoming Presidential, Legislative and local elections scheduled to take place in Niger on 21st February, 2016 and 9th May, 2016, respectively.

One of the major objectives of this mission is to meet and discuss with candidates for the elections, political party leadership and government authorities in order to emphasize the need for the conduct of free and fair elections as well as to remind all stakeholders of the values and principles of democracy and good governance, which ECOWAS places high premium on, as contained in the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance

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