Led by Sierra Leone’s former president, Ernest Bai Koroma, along with the former vice president of The Gambia, Fatoumata Tambajallow, the West Africa Elders Forum (WAEF) have Sunday December 4 2022, started off their Pre-elections Assessment Mission to Nigeria with a meeting with the leadership of Nigeria’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP delegation led by its presidential aspirant, former vice president, Atiku Abubakrr and its national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, expressed deep satisfaction over WAEF’s proactiveness. They also noted the commitment of statesmen and women like President Koroma and Vice President Tambajallow to the peace and democratic good governance in Africa.
This is the seventh consecutive general election since the country returned to democracy in 1999, the longest uninterrupted democratic governance in Nigeria’s history.
Compared to the 2019 elections in which there were 73 presidential candidates, only 18 political parties did so for the 2023 elections. However, the contest is already shaping out as a four’horse race involving the All People’s Congress (APC), the Labour Party (LP), the Peoples Democratic Party, and the New Nigeria People’s Party.
It is important to note that this is going to be a transitional election in which the incumbent President Buhari is not contesting. A Nigerian Think Tank, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), said the 2023 elections will be the most challenging to conduct in Nigeria, saying the raging insecurity, preparedness of the electoral body, INEC, and conduct of presidential candidates will shape the outcome of the polls.
“Insecurity remains a critical issue, particularly in the northwest and southeast. Further challenging this operation are the prevailing structural, infrastructural, and cultural ecosystems in which the polls will take place.”
WAEF’s Assessment Mission will hear, take note of all concerns amd engage the relevant authorities in pursuit of peaceful and credible elections.
The meeting held at the headquartres of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Wuse 2, Abuja, also included the Special Adviser to the PDP Candidate, Alhaji Amadu Maina Waziri, its Director of Administration, Ambassador Ibrahim Bashir, its Director of Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye and the Principal Secretary to the Candidate, Alhaji Ibrahim Yahya Zamgo.