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August 26, 2019
Politics World

Buhari advises ECOWAS body on Guinea Bissau presidential poll

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the electoral body in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to engage all stakeholders in Guinea Bissau ahead of the November 24 presidential election.

The success of the election, he said, will restore stability and eventual withdrawal of ECOWAS troop from the country.

This is as President Buhari also assured the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commission (ECONEC) of Nigeria’s continuous support towards ensuring credible electoral process in the sub-region.

The President spoke yesterday at a symposium organises by ECONEC in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The symposium was among the programmes lined up for the sixth Biennial General Assembly of ECONEC.

President Buhari said Nigeria supported the affirmative action in the nomination of candidates for elections as part of efforts to ensure inclusiveness in the electoral process.

Stressing the impact of the “Not Too Young Bill”, which he signed into law before the 2019 general polls, the President said his administration would ensure the involvement of other categories of citizens, like persons living with disabilities and internally displaced persons (IDPs), for integration into the electoral process in Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region in general.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said: “With the successful conduct of parliamentary elections in Guinea Bissau in March this year, the next big step is the presidential election. I urge ECONEC to continue to work with ECOWAS by engaging all stakeholders in the country for a successful presidential election scheduled for November 24 to restore stability and eventually facilitate the withdrawal of troops.

“I want to assure you of Nigeria’s continued assistance because a credible election in our sub-region is not only good for democracy and periodic elections, it is also good for overall sub-regional stability. We cannot allow the failure of the political process to destabilise our countries to the extent that regional military intervention becomes inevitable, as is unfortunately still the case in the sub-region.

“This is a very encouraging sign of our steady progress in ensuring that all segments of our society have a voice in the management of public affairs, especially through the democratic process. It is also an indication that in spite of the progress achieved so far, more needs to be done by governments through legislation, by political parties through affirmative action in the nomination of candidates for election and by all stakeholders through unrelenting advocacy for greater inclusion of all segments of society in the democratic and electoral processes.”

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