Ex-Ghanaian President Mahama leads election mediation team to Nigeria
Former Ghanaian President John Mahama will lead West African Elders Forum (WAEF) Election Mediation Team to Nigeria for the 2023 general election.
Ominabo said that the team was expected to be on the ground for the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the March 11, state elections.
He listed other members of the team to include Nigeria former President Goodluck Jonathan; former Beninese President, Boni Yayi, and former Vice President of the Gambia, Fatoumata Tambajang.
Also in the team are former Burkinabe Prime Minister and president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Kadre Ouedraogo and former Deputy Chair of the African Union (AU), Dr Erastus Mwencha.
Ominabo said the GJF Executive Director and Coordinator of the WAEF Secretariat, Ann Iyonu, disclosed that the focus of the forum is to interface with key stakeholders and provide the necessary support that would ensure peaceful elections.
Iyonu added that the leaders would be working with key stakeholders in the elections as well as the observer missions, to ensure a crisis-free process before, during, and after the elections.
“Unlike other observation missions, the forum has a special focus on election-related conflicts, and the Elders will be on the ground for a longer time.
“The forum made up of former Presidents and Heads of Government in West Africa will be interacting with the candidates, political parties and members, the citizens, the election umpire, observers, and other key stakeholders all the time.
“The leaders will be looking out for crisis triggers, with the mind of nipping them in the bud by offering mediatory roles and giving relevant advice to ensure peaceful polling, based on their personal experiences as former leaders of the sub-region.
“The leaders will also be calling for individual accountability by those who by their actions or inactions undermine the democratic process and endanger lives,” Iyonu said.
Ominabo recalls that during the Gambian elections in December 2022, WAEF carried out a similar engagement where they deployed a team led by Jonathan.
He said that the presence of the WAEF team in The Gambia and their mediatory activities, especially after the elections, helped to resolve post-election tensions that threatened the integrity and outcome of the poll.
He added that WAEF team would be in Abuja to witness the second signing of the National Peace Accord by Presidential candidates and chairpersons of political parties.
He recalled WAEF earlier deployed a three-man delegation to Nigeria to undertake a pre-election mediation mission.
The delegation, which had strategic engagements with key stakeholders from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2022 was made up of former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma; former Vice President of the Gambia, Fatoumata Tambajang.
Also in the team was 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.
The WAEF, an initiative of the GJF, was established to serve as a home-grown and non-partisan platform of past heads of state and government in West Africa.
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