Nigeria’s elections crucial to Africa – West African leaders


The West Africa Elders’ Forum has charged Nigerians to ensure that the 2023 elections are credible and conducted in a violence-free atmosphere.

This, it said, would signal to the rest of the sub-region that democracy has come to stay.

Head of the WAEF Pre-election Mediation Mission and former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma, stated this at a news conference while presenting the forum’s post-mission statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said, “We call on all Nigerians to exercise their rights to civic participation both before and during the coming elections without fear while also respecting the rights of others to do the same. Our region, West Africa, of late, has experienced some reversal in democratic practice with unconstitutional changes of government in some countries. At the heart of the instability within the sub-region are the issue of disputed elections and citizen disaffection.

“The 2023 general elections in Nigeria are crucial not just for Nigeria alone but for West Africa and the African continent. They are the first of three to be held in the region next year. The successful conduct of peaceful, credible, inclusive, free and fair elections here will set a good example for others.

“This will not only send a message that democracy is here to stay in West Africa but will also resuscitate hope at a time when the sub-region is plagued with various challenges.

“The WAEF will stay engaged and accompany the process before, during and after the general elections until a smooth and peaceful transition is achieved.”

A statement signed by Wealth Ominabo, Communication officer of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation quoted Koroma as noting that though some stakeholders expressed concerns and misgivings towards the forthcoming polls, the mission got assurances from relevant authorities that all concerns would be adequately addressed ahead of the elections.

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