The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced the deployment of 163 observers to monitor the upcoming Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections in Nigeria, scheduled for next Saturday.
Wednesday’s statement read: “The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission), His Excellency Dr. Omar Alieu TOURAY, is deploying an ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (ECOWAS-EOM) to monitor the Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections in Nigeria on Saturday, March 18, 2023.”
The deployment of 163 observers complies with the provisions of Articles 42(2) and 44(b) of the 1999 ECOWAS Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping and Security; Article 12 of the 2001 Supplemental Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance; and Article 53(c) of the 2008 ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework.
The statement also disclosed that the observers will be drawn from Community Institutions (the Commission, Parliament, and Court of Justice), West African Ambassadors accredited to ECOWAS, Member States’ Electoral Commissions and Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and electoral experts from civil society. In addition, a thirteen-member Core Team of electoral specialists who were in Nigeria prior to the presidential and national assembly elections would be included.
In addition, the operation will be supported by an ECOWAS Technical Team under the overall direction of Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
“The 18 March polls will conclude the current electoral cycle in Nigeria, following the 25 February presidential and national assembly elections for which ECOWAS sent 250 observers across the country’s six geopolitical zones,” read the statement.
“The 163-member ECOWAS EOM will be deployed from 15 to 21 March 2023 to physically and remotely supervise the elections in eighteen (18) states determined based on a technical assessment and study of trends and hotspots.
South-West: Lagos, Ogun, and Oyo; South-South: Rivers, Edo, and Delta; South-East: Enugu, Ebonyi, and Imo; North-Central: Nasarawa, Plateau, and Benue; North-West: Kano, Kaduna, and Sokoto; and North-East: Borno, Adamawa, and Taraba.