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ECOWAS, other international observers confident in Nigeria’s electoral process

R-L. President, ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Kadre Ouedraogo, H.E. Amos Sawyer, AU, Head of Missions, H.E. John Kufour, ECOWAS Head of Mission, Dr. Mohamed Chambas, SRSG.UN, 27-3-15. IMG_4484

Head of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (EOM), former Ghanaian President John Kufuor and leaders of other international poll observers including those from the African Union (AU), the Commonwealth and the U.S. have expressed confidence in the ability and efforts of Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission (INEC); to deliver free, fair, transparent and credible elections.


Speaking during a meeting at the ECOWAS Commission’s Election Situation Room in Abuja on the eve of the Saturday, 28th March 2015 presidential elections, the ECOWAS Mission chief and leaders of the other poll monitoring groups such as the American National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), as well as the Head of the UN Office in West Africa (UNOWA). Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, were unanimous in their commendation of INEC.


They also applauded the Abuja Accord signed by the two major contenders to the Nigerian presidency, noting that the work of INEC as an unbiased umpire would lend legitimacy to the results of the elections and help to deepen democracy in Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation.


Describing Nigeria as a country of strategic importance not just in the region, but the continent and the world at large, hence the interest in the country’s wellbeing, the poll observers urged the Nigerian electorate and political leaders to eschew violence, and conduct themselves peacefully to ensure successful, free, fair credible and transparent electoral process.


“Governance in our region is work in progress and all in Africa should be concerned about Nigeria,” former President Kufuor affirmed.


The Head of the AU poll observation mission, former President of Liberia’s Interim Government, Dr. Amos Sawyer and his Commonwealth counterpart, former Malawi leader Dr. Bakili Muluzi, expressed delight that the security concerns and political tension in the country before the postponement of the general elections had significantly abated.


Dr. Chambas therefore called on Nigerians to seize the opportunity to exercise their franchise and “make Nigeria proud.”


President of the ECOWAS Commission H.E. Kadré Desire Ouédraogo said that with five Member States holding important elections this year, the region looked up to Nigeria to show an example as a role model.


As a demonstration of its support, solidarity and the importance of Nigeria to the region, the Commission has deployed 250 Long-term and observers led by former President Kufuor, the largest by any international organization, to monitor the general elections in the country.


ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs Dr. Remi Ajibewa briefed the meeting on the deployment and the Commission’s technical support.


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