President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to leave a legacy of free and fair elections in Nigeria and the West African sub-region at large.
The Nigerian leader will finish his second term next year and has reiterated his desire to conduct a hitch-free election, adding that the country is committed to a stable West Africa.
He said this on Monday at the 2022 second ordinary session of the ECOWAS parliament in Abuja, according to a statement from presidential aide Femi Adesina.
“We are convinced that the sustenance of democracy and the rule of law should remain the norm in this promising region,” he said.
“There will be multiple political activities in some ECOWAS member states, including Nigeria, where general elections are due to be held in February and March 2023. Let me seize this opportunity to reiterate my commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections and smooth transitions. This is one legacy that I want my administration to bequeath, not only to Nigeria but to the region as a whole.”
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Buhari said threats to peace and security, political instability, and the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war are the biggest challenges facing West Africa.
‘‘It is on record that the region has not rested on its oars as we have always striven to evolve effective regional mechanisms to address these challenges.
‘‘For example, at the height of the pandemic, Heads of State of ECOWAS appointed me as the ECOWAS champion on COVID-19,” he said.
‘‘Working with three Ministerial Committees comprising Member States’ Ministers of Health, Finance, and Transportation, we developed an effective response by mitigating the effect of COVID-19 on our citizens. Our efforts yielded positive results as the ECOWAS region became one of the sub-regions least affected by the pandemic, in terms of mortality rate.”