The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has deployed a 250-member Election Observation team to colorful parts of Nigeria ahead of today’s Presidential and National Assembly elections and the governorship and state houses of assembly elections scheduled for March 11.
Head of the observer team and former president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, made this known in Abuja on Thursday ahead of the deployment indeed as he charged the observers to display a high sense of responsibility and to be cautious of fake news and ensure the exercise is a true reflection of the will of the people.
He said “Election observation isn’t an easy responsibility and for you to be given that responsibility means a lot of work has been done to assess your integrity and capability. Let me also thank you for accepting to come and serve in this all–important election. The elections in Nigeria aren’t just about Nigeria. They go beyond Nigeria, they go beyond ECOWAS, they go beyond truly the Africa continent. “ Nigeria is a radiating star in the continent.
Whatever happens in Nigeria will set the pace for elections and activities for other countries. We’ve in recent time witnessed a reversal of the democratic gains that we’ve made over the years. Of recent we’ve had five coups and we’ve three countries that are being run by military administrations, this isn’t a profile that we should be proud of because we allowed military coups are things of the past. ”
President Koroma noted that a “lot of issues revolved around the election and the consequence of the elections. That’s why I believe ECOWAS is really concerned and has taken time to ensure that its Protocol on peace and security are clung to and we’ve a responsibility as observers to ensure that we contribute to the process.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, in his remarks expressed possibility about a peaceful election that will reflect the will of the people.
He said “We’re going to have good elections in Nigeria that reflect the will of the people. This is the largest economy, this is the largest country in the region, so what goes by then affects all of us. Republic in Nigeria means democracy for thesub-region and democracy for the African continent.
So this is why ECOWAS attaches a lot of significance and it accounts for the fact that we’ve deployed the largest delegation in recent years with further than 250 people and with a budget that’s fairly significant. A number of international originations have deployed observers but most of them will depend on what ECOWAS has said.