Abuja – Leader of the 300-member ECOWAS observation mission to Nigeria’s April elections, Prof. Amos Sawyer, said in Abuja,yesterday, that he had no fears about Saturday’s presidential election.
Sawyer told a news conference that reports from the just-concluded parliamentary elections were encouraging and the team had come expecting that Nigeria would pull off another round of successful elections.
“We have looked at reports from elections of last week. We are encouraged by those reports.
We are yet, of course, to study detail findings of others who had observed.
“Nonetheless, we do not come here with apprehension. We come, encouraged that Nigeria will, in fact, pull off successful elections, and it is in the interest of all of West Africa.’’
Sawyer, who described Nigeria as the engine of Africa; its largest democracy and the engine of regional integration, said the country’s election should be an example to other African countries.
He appealed to the electorate to turn out en-masse and vote wisely to deepen democracy in the country.
He said he was looking forward to a successful mission and would issue a report on the parliamentary elections soon.
Also speaking, the President of the ECOWAS mission, Amb. James Gbeho emphasised that the observers were committed to seeing that the presidential election was conducted in a free, fair and credible manner.
“Our mandate is to determine whether the election was conducted in a free, fair, credible and transparent manner.’’
The ECOWAS observation team consists of diplomats, heads of independent election commissions in Africa and sub-regional parliamentarians, civil society groups.
Members of the team would be deployed in the six geopolitical zones of the country for Saturday’s presidential election.