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ECOWAS Chairman lauds Nigerians over successful elections

H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Chairman, ECOWAS Heads of State & Government and President of Ghana visit Nigeria, 20- 21 April 2015

The Chairman of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama has congratulated Nigerians over the conduct of peaceful and successful general elections in the country.

“Nigerians are the winners of these historic elections,” the Chairman said during post- election solidarity visits to President Goodluck Jonathan, the President-elect Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, in Abuja on Tuesday, 21st April, 2015.

He described Nigerians’ resilience and resolve as a shining example for other countries in the ECOWAS region and the African continent.

The Chairman commended President Jonathan for his statesmanship by quickly accepting the outcome of the election as the collective will of the Nigerian people and telephoning Gen. Buhari to congratulate him as the winner even before the official results were announced.

“This singular act has further confirmed your humility, maturity and great leadership quality which you were known for since taking over the mantle of leadership of this great nation,” he added.

The ECOWAS Chairman said that action by the President has further enriched the democratic space in Nigeria and West Africa, and proved that “we are capable of having selfless leaders who place the progress and development of their nations above all other interest.”

President Mahama said that with this development, Nigeria has further confirmed her leadership role in Africa in terms of democratic governance and the rule of law.

He further lauded President Jonathan for his contributions towards achieving the goal of regional integration and urged him to continue supporting the development of the region even after leaving office, noting that ECOWAS would continue to seek and rely on his high quality advice and leadership in the running of the affairs of the Community.

In a separate visit to Gen. Buhari, the ECOWAS Chairman congratulated him for his election victory and urged him to carry all Nigerians along in the running of his administration.

He commended the president-elect for his strong belief in the democratic process and urged him to work assiduously for the progress and development of Nigeria, in the overall interest of the West African region and the African continent.

The Chairman said ECOWAS’ observation of Nigeria’s election was in fulfilment of the regional protocol towards deepening democracy and good governance in the region and expressed delight at the level of solidarity and cooperation exhibited by key stakeholders in the electoral process.

The Chairman said ECOWAS would work with Gen. Buhari in the collective drive to strengthen regional integration, development, peace and security, and extended his best wishes to him for a successful tenure.

He equally commended Prof Jega and his team at INEC for the manner they handled the elections.

The Chairman noted that Jega’s integrity and professionalism had contributed to the acceptance of the election results by the contenders, adding that in any election, the role and conduct of the umpire is key to engendering confidence in the electorate and for the integrity of the process.

In addition, he said the performance of INEC would serve as a very good signal to other countries in the region, especially those preparing for elections.

In his response, Prof. Jega thanked the ECOWAS Chairman for the solidarity visit, the first by any sitting Head of State to the Commission, adding that the recognition and goodwill by ECOWAS would encourage the Commission to do more.

“By conducting free and fair elections, Nigeria has a lot to contribute to peace, development and stability in the West African region and Africa,” the INEC chief affirmed.

The ECOWAS Chairman was accompanied on the visits by senior officials of the ECOWAS Commission, including Vice President Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, Financial Controller of ECOWAS Institutions, Dr. Muhammad Sani Bello, and ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa.

Also in the delegation were senior officials of the Government of Ghana, including the Senior Advisor of the President Baba Kamara, Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. William Awinador Kanyirige and Amb. Kwesi Quartey, Secretary to the President.

Directorate of Communications

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