West African Elders Demand For Pleasant, Reliable Voting in Government Elections
As Nigerians prepare for Saturday’s gubernatorial and state assembly elections, the West Africa Elders Forum (WAEF) has urged for peaceful, free, and fair voting.
In order to preserve the integrity of the electoral process, the Forum also urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the elections in accordance with the country’s electoral laws and work to address the problems raised by various stakeholders after the February 25 presidential elections.
The elders further urged the security authorities to be vigilant about their duties and check the illegal activities of those attempting to sabotage the elections in a statement co-signed by convener of the Forum, former Nigerian President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and convener of WAEF’s 2023 Election Mission to Nigeria, former Ghanaian President John Mahama.
In addition to praising Nigerians for their composure and belief in the country’s democracy, WAEF asked people to uphold the law and refrain from any actions that would disrupt Saturday’s polls and endanger regional and national peace.
The Forum also commended the candidates for president in the most recent elections for taking the elders’ counsel to follow the road of peace and use legal channels to address the complaints seen during the most recent elections.
The statement went on to say:
The Forum requests that the umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security personnel, and all other parties involved follow the law and carry out their constitutionally mandated duties in a way that fosters peace and safeguards the electoral process’ integrity.
“Thus, it is necessary for the electoral authority to consider the grievances made during the presidential and national assembly elections by all stakeholders, including local and foreign observers, and to commit to rectifying those issues.
“We maintain our prior claim that Nigeria is a key stakeholder in the sustainability of democracy in West Africa, which we made following the presidential and national assembly elections. We are all responsible for upholding the country’s vibrant democracy and the overall stability of our subregion, especially when it comes to the integrity of INEC and other West African election administration organizations.