The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission has engaged the leaderships of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and other stakeholders on identifying ways to a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the 2023 general elections.
The leaders drawn from the Northwest and Northeastern states of Nigeria were taken on four days of training and interactive engagements on dialogue and mediation for national peace held on Tuesday in Kano.
The ECOWAS commission Programme Officer on mediation, Directorate of Political Affairs, Brown Odigie said, the commission is concerned with the situation in the country, hence the need to bring stakeholders on board.
“We are committed to peaceful electoral process in the region and Nigeria being an important and strategic member of ECOWAS, the commission is concerned that with the findings on the happenings in the nation, one of the key recommendations is to ensure that we interact with critical stakeholders and engage them on the need for the prevention of electoral violence by the use of mediation and creating room for dialogue among political actors and stakeholders.
“More importantly also, to address contentious issues around the electoral process and to ensure that we all work together with the hope that the political actors will appreciate the commitment of ECOWAS using mediation in resolving electoral related disputes and conflicts.”
On his part, the National Chairman, IPAC, Yabagi Sani expressed worry over how the democratic system is being driven on the path of sabotage.
“Looking at the democratic space itself and all the institutions, you will discover that the political parties produce all the other organs of the governance. The onus is on us to ensure that democracy survives and serves the purpose for the citizens of the country and that cannot happen without peace. Monetization of the process is so obscene that it will ruin the purpose of democracy.
“If you allow money or violence to take over the situation, what you end up with is compromise in a manner that is not anticipated in the principle of democracy in this country.
“Money has been allowed to be used excessively and violence has not been dealt with in the manner that is supposed to because as we speak today, the bill with the Commission for electoral offences is still in the works and hasn’t been passed into law yet.”
Daily Trust gathered that a Pre–Election Fact-Finding Delegation from the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) led by Former Chairman of the Electoral Commission in Ghana, Mr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan was in Kano.
The high powered delegation was in the state to access the level of preparedness and established issues ahead of the 2023 general elections.