Supporters rides in a campaign bus of Nigeria's leading opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Mohammadu Buhari and his unning mate Yemi Osinbajo in Lagos on January 24, 2015. Unknown gunmen stormed and bombed the site of a ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Abuja - The President of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Mr Kadre Ouedraogo, on
Wednesday disclosed that the community had deployed 250 election observers to
Nigeria for upcoming general elections.
Ouedraogo made this known when he visited the presidential candidate of the All
Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja.
He said that the commission was interested in peace and stability in Nigeria,
because it would engender development in the country, the region and Africa.
"We have decided to deploy an observer team of 250 persons to Nigeria and we
have decided to deploy a long-term observation mission.
"They were deployed from Jan. 20 to all the geo-political zones of Nigeria.
They came back on Feb. 9 after the postponement of the election but we had
debriefing session with them.
Also read: Kuffor heads ECOWAS mission for local elections
"So, they made their observation and recommendations and we have decided to
engage all the stakeholders to exchange views and to share their findings and
their observations,’’ he said.
He stated that the visit was to get the APC’s candidate’s views on the
"In addition, we must be grateful if we can have your views on the electoral
process so that we can put it in the way ECOWAS is going to bring its support
to peaceful and stable elections in Nigeria.
"This is because peace and stability are essential for development and we know
that peace and security in Nigeria are so important for the rest of our
community,’’ Ouedraogo said.
He recalled that the mandate of ECOWAS was to monitor and observe all general
elections in all member states, saying "and for us, elections in Nigeria are
"They are of great importance for peace and stability to our region and this
is the reason the chairman of the authority together with all ECOWAS
institutions are following very closely electoral process in Nigeria.’’
Responding, Buhari assured the delegation of a peaceful atmosphere before,
during and after the elections and praised President Goodluck Jonathan for
assuring to hand over to whoever emerged winner at the polls.
"The six weeks extension is accommodated in the Constitution for holding
elections and INEC has said it has between 75-80 per cent successes in the
distribution of the voter cards.
"Mr President has made very encouraging comments weeks ago by saying he’ll
hand over to whoever emerged winner.
"We told our supporters to embrace peace before the accord and even after the
signing of the accord we have continued to urge them to show restraint.
"We intend to maintain this pressure until the elections take place,’’ Buhari