2019 elections tremendous opportunity for Nigeria to strengthen leadership in Africa – Sirleaf
Head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Elections Observation team, for Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, says the 2019 general election is a tremendous opportunity for Nigeria to continue to play pivotal leadership role in the democratic process in West Africa and the African continent in general.
The former President of Liberia said this when she led the ECOWAS Election Observer team to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday in Abuja, even as she recounted the contributions of Nigeria to the restoration of peace and democratic governance to her country after years of conflicts.
“Nigeria is very important to Liberia. Today, Liberia enjoys 15 consecutive years of peace to which Nigeria contributed an enormous amount of human and financial resources. That is why it is great pleasure for me to be part of this process, having gone through a political transition myself.
“Having gone through these processes after years of destruction I am very pleased that I will be a part of what we know will be a process of election that ensures that Nigeria continues to play the pivotal role of leadership in the continent,” she said.
She said the purpose of her visit was to meet with the authorities, to meet with the chairman, police and other relevant institutions, party leaders as well as the ECOWAS initial observation mission team that has already done the initial assessment to ascertain the level of preparedness before she will come back with the full team next for the elections proper.
Welcoming the delegation, the INEC chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, noted that the eyes of the world were on Nigeria and on Nigerian elections, even as he promised that the commission would justify the confidence reposed in it.
“This commission will not fail Nigerians, will not fail ECOWAS and will not fail the world. We are going to prove that what happened in 2015 was not a fluke and that 2019 will be another landmark with our democratic process,” he said.
Yakubu also said the ECOWAS Observation team and others such as the European Union Observation team, Commonwealth and others assessments would help in reviewing and reforming the processes and procedures of Nigeria’s democratic process so that the nation’s elections could be better.