The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana has called for a free, fair and non-violence election in the forthcoming Presidential general election in Nigeria.
He stated this after holding a private meeting with his Nigerian counterpart, President Goodluck Jonathan at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
President Mahama said that five countries in the West Africa region were going to conduct similar elections this year and Nigeria, being the giant of Africa would set the best standards for the rest of the other countries of the region in particular and the continent at large.
” ECOWAS has undertaken missions in all these countries that are facing elections, long term electoral observer missions. These missions have been monitoring the electoral process in the lead up to the elections not just before the elections, but from a longer period. We have received several monitoring reports and we are working together with the electoral commissions of the countries and the authorities of those countries.
We have tried to ensure that obstacles to free and fair elections are removed to ensure that election are free and fair, people would accept the results of those elections. As chair of the authorities of Heads of State of ECOWAS, I have extended my solidarity to the Nigerian people through my brother President Jonathan, to see that the whole of ECOWAS, not only ECOWAS, but the international community is in solidarity with Nigeria to have a very transparent election so that the democratic process in Nigeria will be better entrenched”. He said
President Mahama noted that as five other countries in the region were also going to conduct elections this year, he believes if Nigeria gets it right; Africa would have been on the right track to a free, fair, violence free and perfect democratic norms.
“This is a critical election for Nigeria and it will be one more indication for the world that Nigeria is a democratic country and ruled by tenets of good governance and rule of law. And so, we want to wish you all the best. We are meeting with the INEC to look at the state of preparedness and we believe that following the postponement of the election, from the 14th of February to the 28 of March has given the INEC much more time to be able to meet all its processes and be in readiness to ensure that voters are not disenfranchised and that the results of the elections are accepted.
We expect that there will be no post election violence and that all the parties involved in the election would accept the results of the election in good faith when INEC has announced the results of the elections.
ECOWAS would continue to monitor the situation and would do everything possible to stand in solidarity with Nigerian people to ensure that this election pass on successfully and Nigeria continues in the role that it plays in our sub-regional bodies. As you know, Nigeria is a very important member of ECOWAS. The largest economy, the largest nation in the ECOWAS region and so Nigeria’s safety and security is the safety of and security of the whole of ECOWAS region and so I stand on behalf of all the Presidents of ECOWAS and wish that all Nigerians will come out and express their votes and their votes would count towards electing who becomes the next leader of this country”. President Mahama noted
The ECOWAS Chairman is expected to hold similar meetings with the major opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega.