2023: ECOWAS Mission meets IPAC in Lagos


The ECOWAS Fact-Finding Mission for Nigerian Elections on Saturday met with members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Lagos State.

Dr Kwadwo Afari-gyan, Head of the mission and former Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, told IPAC members at its secretariat in Ikeja that the 2023 general elections in Nigeria remained important to African continent and beyond.

Afari-gyan said all stakeholders needed to play roles to achieve the democratic expectations.

He said that the delegation had been talking with INEC, security agencies and other stakeholders, adding that the mission would move to various zones in Nigeria to hear from the stakeholders.

According to him, there is an urgent need for stakeholders to unite to ensure that the nation conducted elections that would be a model for the continent.

He urged political parties and candidates in the elections to comport themselves well, so as not to ignite violence capable of disrupting the exercise.

Afari-gyan added that a lot of lessons would be learnt from Nigeria by other members of the ECOWAS, who would be having elections in 2023, 2024 and so on.

He urged party leaders and their candidates to commit ourselves to achieving free, fair and credible elections.

Afari-gyan asked the party leaders what the challenges had been in the build-up to the 2023 elections.

Responding, the IPAC Chairman, Mr Olusegun Mobolaji, raised the issues of vote-buying, vote-selling, violence and challenge of insecurity during the election.

Mobolaji also raised the challenge of compromise by some officials of the electoral management body during elections.

He said there was the need for more political education at the grassroots to prevent electorate from selling their votes.

According to him, the new technology being adopted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is now sophisticated to mitigate electoral frauds.

Mobolaji presented a document of IPAC’s proposal on voter education, how to address vote buying and selling as well as violence and insecurity during the polls.

Commending the mission, Mobolaji asked for partnership and support on ways of dealing with all the challenges facing Nigeria’s elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the delegation on Friday, paid a courtesy visit on Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the Lagos state PDP Governorship Candidate and his campaign team at the Liberty House in Ikeja.

Members of the ECOWAS delegation included Mr Mohammed Konnel, the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Sierra Leone; Dr Remi Ajibewa, Director, Political Affairs, ECOWAS and Dr Onye Orukuwa, Head of Peace and Mediation Unit.

Others were ASP Nuru Hamidu, Head of ECOWAS Security and Mr Abu Turay, Election Technical Expert, ECOWAS.