By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Alkeu Touray today deployed 163 observers to monitor the gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections in Nigeria coming up on Saturday, 18 March 2023.
The deployment of the one hundred and sixty-three (163) observers is in line with the provisions of Articles 42(2) and 44(b) of the 1999 ECOWAS Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security: Article 12 of the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, and Article 53(c) of the 2008 ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework.
Accordingly, the observers are to be drawn from the Community Institutions such as the Commission, Parliament, and the Court of Justice); West African Ambassadors accredited to ECOWAS; Member States’ Electoral Commissions and Ministries of Foreign Affairs; and electoral experts from civil society. It will also include a thirteen-member Core Team of electoral experts that has been in the country before the presidential and national assembly elections.
Furthermore, Ambassador Abdel- Fatau Musa the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security. Mission will coordinate the ECOWAS Technical Team.
According to a statement from ECOWAS made available to Daybreak today, the 163-member ECOWAS EOM will be deployed from 15 to 21 March 2023 to eighteen (18) States, identified based on a technical assessment and analysis of trends and hotspots, to physically and remotely monitor the elections.
The States includeSouth-West: Lagos – Ogun – Oyo. South-South: Rivers – Edo – Delta . South-East: Enugu – Ebonyi – Imo.
North-Central: Nasarawa – Plateau – Benue .
North-West: Kano – Kaduna – Sokoto and
North-East: Maiduguri – Adamawa – Taraba
The statement also noted that ECOWAS deployed 250 observers across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria during the 25th February Presidential and National Assembly Elections.
The 18 March elections will complete the current electoral cycle in Nigeria, following the 25 February.