Ahead of the presidential election on Saturday, Mr. Michael Koroma, the former president of Sierra Leone, led the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Team at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the acting Director of Defense Information, Brig.-Gen. Tukur Gusau, said this in a statement issued in Abuja.
Koroma said that their goal was to observe the approaching elections to make sure everything went well.
According to him, it is traditional for ECOWAS to assist its members, “particularly as a big brother country like Nigeria prepares to go to the polls to elect its leaders.”
The Former President of Sierra Leone said the team conducted meetings with important stakeholders during the course of their work, including the Independent National Electoral Commission, civil society, and security services.
He said that the engagement aimed to create an environment that would be favorable for calm, free, and fair elections.
The shortage of fuel and the difficulty Nigerians are having using the new naira as money are two risks to the polls, according to the head of ECOWAS’ monitoring mission.
Yet, he claimed that everyone involved was strongly motivated to ensure a smooth election.
In response, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, expressed gratitude for having the team visit.
Irabor recounted his time serving on a peacekeeping operation in Sierra Leone under the leadership of Mike Koroma, whom he praised as an African role model who tried his utmost to secure a smooth transition to democracy in that nation.
Irabor stated that in terms of election security, the Nigeria Police Force, which is the primary security agency with other paramilitary agencies leading the way, would continue to receive some backing from the armed forces.
He emphasized that, as required by the constitution, which calls for military backing of civil authority, the military will remain in the background throughout the elections.
The Chief of Defence Staff gave the team his word that the military and other security organizations will uphold Nigerians’ expectations during the polls.
He promised the ECOWAS team that the election campaign would go off without a hitch.
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