President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to leave a legacy of free and fair elections in Nigeria and throughout the West African sub-region.
The Nigerian president will complete his second term next year and has stated his desire to hold a free and fair election, as well as the country’s commitment to a stable West Africa.
According to a statement from presidential aide Femi Adesina, he said this on Monday at the 2022 second ordinary session of the ECOWAS parliament in Abuja.
“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.”
The biggest challenges facing West Africa, according to Buhari, are threats to peace and security, political instability, and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war.
‘‘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.”