The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has warned that the result of Nigeria’s presidential election must reflect the will of the people.
The head of mission of ECOWAS observation mission for the presidential election in Nigeria, a former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Koroma, said this at a meeting with ECOWAS observers in Abuja on Thursday.
While highlighting the need for a credible, free and fair presidential election in Nigeria, he said the elections should set the pace for other African countries to follow.
“We have two other elections in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Next year, we have critical elections. When what happens have reflected the will of the people, I am sure other countries coming after Nigeria will toll the line,” he said.
Koroma said the elections that will take place in the next two days were crucial, not only for the people of Nigeria but for the entire ECOWAS sub-region.
“The campaign process has been carried out without much incident. However, the forthcoming phases, namely voting, counting, and the proclamation of results, are the most decisive. What will happen on 25th February 2023 is of the utmost importance for the Nigerian citizens, but also for all of us West African citizens.
“For that reason, the ECOWAS authorities are keeping a very close eye on these elections,” he said.
Koroma called for the highest sense of responsibility from all stakeholders involved in the elections, starting with the political parties, the State authorities, the civil society stakeholders, and the entire citizens.
The former President, who disclosed that 250 observers would be deployed by ECOWAS, explained that: “Our presence in Nigeria is, therefore, more than significant. It is first and foremost a legal obligation in applying the provisions of the Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
“Our role is to observe whether the conduct, organisation, and holding of the 25th February 2023 presidential elections comply with the standards set out in the above-mentioned Protocol.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, in his welcome address, said the outcome of the elections in Nigeria would affect democracy in West Africa and the world.
Touray charged the ECOWAS observers to avoid fake news, stressing that they must only report the truth.