World focusing on Nigeria for credible polls, says ECOWAS Commission

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, rising from a meeting with stakeholders in Owerri on the forthcoming general elections, at the weekend, urged the 18 registered political parties and candidates in the February 25 and March 11 presidential, National Assembly; governorship and states assembly elections, respectively, to be mindful of the fact that the world would be watching the democratic exercise.

The Commission also charged them to adhere strictly to provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 guidelines and the peace accord they signed prior to their campaigns. The President of the Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, represented by an official of the regional body, Dr. Onyinye Onwuka, stated this during the fourth and final series of the South East/South South zonal training and interactive/ engagement with representatives of the Inter -Party Advisory Council (IPAC), as well as other stakeholders involved in the polls, to ensure credible, free and fair general elections.

Accompanied by the Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Abdel- Fatau Musah, among other officials, he also charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure unbiased conduct of the polls, as the entire Africa and, by extension, the world are looking up to Nigeria, noting that the importance of Nigeria in the West African sub-region could not be overemphasized.

Touray said the regional body is committed to strategic support and intervention towards peaceful 2023 general elections in Nigeria, urging the cooperation of all towards its achievement.

He said the Commission would sustain the partnership with stakeholders in that regard, advising that they should prevent conflicts and violence through inclusive opportunities, mediation and dialogue.

Speaking, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Imo State, Prof. Sylvia Agu, represented by Head of Department of the Election and Party Monitoring of INEC in the state, Victor Nwokeabia, said the engagement was crucial as the elections are close.