Nigeria Decides 2015: ECOWAS, other int'l observers confident in Nigeria's electoral process

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

Speaking during a meeting at the ECOWAS Commission’s Election Situation Room in Abuja on the eve of the 28 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, the poll observers urged the Nigerian electorate and political leaders to eschew violence and conduct themselves peacefully to ensure a successful, free, fair, credible and transparent electoral process.

“Governance in our region is 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 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 observers, led by Kufuor, the largest by any international organization, to monitor the general elections in the
country.
-0- PANA VAO 28March2015

28 march 2015 11:45:32




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