Mahama sad at EC’s Sinking Image as Nigeria’s INEC gains Credibility across board

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Former president John Dramani Mahama has expressed regret about the lack of trust in the Electoral Commission of Ghana after a pre-election mission in Nigeria. He writes;

One thing that has struck me in my pre-election mission in Nigeria for the West African Elders Forum (WAEF) is the confidence all the candidates and parties have expressed in the Independent Electoral Commission.

They all testify that INEC has listened and taken their concerns on board.

Unfortunately, I can’t say same for my Electoral Commission (EC), which was once among the best election management agencies in the world.

The hostility of the Chairperson of the EC and her other Commissioners to one political party is legendary.

How I wish our own EC can inspire the same level of confidence in all its stakeholders.

Regrettably, I am not hopeful this will happen when we have an EC that has blatantly spurned all efforts by the National Peace Council to host a meeting between the Commission and the two major political parties, the NDC and NPP.

John Dramani Mahama
February 24, 2023
Abuja, Nigeria.

full statement of Former president Mahama at the meeting


Thank you, our media friends for coming to have this interaction with the members of the West African Elders Forum (WAEF), on the eve of Nigeria’s general elections.

We are here to show solidarity and goodwill to Nigeria’s elections and to encourage Nigerians to behave in a manner that would ensure peaceful polling.

As a forum of former West African leaders, we are pleased to have been invited by the Nigerian Government to witness this very important election.

Nigeria is a great country and our big brother in the sub-region. This is why Nigeria’s election is a big event for all of Africa.

This year’s election is attracting this level of interest because Nigeria’s success and progress in this regard will go a long way in stabilizing democracy, promoting good governance and maintaining peace in the sub-region.

We are pleased with the level of preparedness by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the security forces policing the elections and other stakeholders involved in the elections, towards conducting a free and fair exercise.

We are also impressed by the commitment of the candidates to support violent-free elections which they have demonstrated by signing two Peace Accords. This is a tradition that has continued to serve Nigeria well during elections, since it was introduced in 2015.

  The Peace Accord mechanism is a positive development which other African countries can adopt and apply to improve their elections and guarantee peace before, during and after elections.

We encourage the candidates who signed this accord to keep to its terms, in the interest of peace and progress in Nigeria.

As a non-partisan platform for former leaders in our sub-region, our role is not to observe election in its strict sense, but to lend our support the efforts of West African countries towards consolidating their democracies. We do this by providing advisory and mediation services to avert election-related conflicts, before, during and after elections.

Our Mission’s engagements here, and in any other West African country holding election, are guided by our own personal experiences as former Presidents and leaders in the sub-region, who had managed elections and overseen successful conflict resolution and peace processes.

Last December, our Forum deployed a three-man delegation to Nigeria to undertake a pre-election mediation mission. The delegation was made up of His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone; Her Excellency Fatoumata Tambajang, former Vice President of the Gambia; and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambers, former President of the ECOWAS Commission and former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UNOWAS.

During the mission, the delegation met with President Muhammadu Buhari, INEC Chair Prof Mahmood Yakubu, National Security Adviser, presidential candidates, political parties, civil society leaders, President of the ECOWAS Commission, development partners and other stakeholders.

This morning we had visited former Head of state Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar here in Abuja where we commended his efforts towards stabilizing democracy in Nigeria, especially for initiating the National Peace Committee and the Peace Accords which have been helpful in maintaining peace during elections in Nigeria. We are pleased that Gen. Abubakar is a member  of our the Elders of Forum, just as we also have former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan as our members.  We will also visit other key stakeholders just to encourage them in the job they are doing to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.

On election day, which is tomorrow, Members of the Mission will visit few polling stations in Abuja, the federal capital, to observe election day procedures and results collation processes. But we will mainly be on hand after Saturday’s elections to engage key stakeholders, if need be, towards guaranteeing peaceful outcomes.  This means that some of our members will remain in the country until the election procedures are peacefully concluded.

I thank you all for coming.

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