Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis has congratulated Nigeria and political parties for the smooth conduct of primaries across all levels.
Tunis gave the commendation during the opening of the 2022 First Ordinary Session of the Parliament on Thursday in Abuja.
He urged the Nigerian government, political parties and the citizens to sustain the tempo as the world looks forward to Nigeria in conducting a free, fair and credible general elections in the year 2023.
“I wish to congratulate the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, particularly the political class, for the successful conduct of their primaries of the two major political parties.
“We acknowledge the complexities of the Nigerian society; hence we admire the maturity and tolerance exhibited so far.
“As we inch closer to full scale political activities, let me seize this opportunity to advice all actors on the need for additional tolerance in this anxious period of full-scale political activities.
“The sub-region and indeed the whole world looks up to Nigeria and expects a successful, as well as free, fair and peaceful election in early 2023,” Tunis said.
The ECOWAS speaker also said that 2023 will be a pivotal one for the sub-region as Member States, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra-leone would be conducting their general elections.
He said the role of the ECOWAS Parliament in ensuring successful democratic process could not be overemphasized hence the need for long engagements before election days.
“May I remind us that 2023 will be very pivotal for democracy across the region. With elections scheduled to hold in three Member States; the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“Our role in ensuring that the democratic processes are conducted in a way that guarantees the best possible outcomes cannot be overemphasized.
“In coordination with the ECOWAS Commission, we must begin our engagements long before the polling day to ensure successes in all the three Member States,” Tunis said.
Speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the event, Sen. Obinna Ogba Member of the ECOWAS Parliament and Nigerian legislature representing Ebonyi Central Senatorial District also commended the peaceful primary elections at all levels.
Ogba said that the conduct of peaceful and primary elections in the country which he also emerged as a gubernatorial aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) shows a growing democracy.
Ogba said ” the peaceful conduct of the primaries shows that a peaceful transition has also started and it is left to the people to elect their choices.
“The smooth transition has started, the PDP has done their primaries, the APC have also done theirs.
“I believe that Presidential candidates and others have now emerged and it is now left for the people to elect who can give them the dividends of democracy.
“And, they will now elect the person when the time comes,” Ogba said.
He, however, stressed that in ensuring sustained democracy, it is also important to involve citizens in the democratic process of their country.
“I thank my party for giving me the opportunity to fly the flag and by God’s grace when I win the election, we need to involve everybody in governance.
“And when you involve everybody in governance, it reduces a lot of tension, and if everybody has something doing, they will not have that time to engage in crime.
“Poverty contributes to the problems we have. When somebody does not go to school and is at home doing nothing what do you think he will do,” Ogba said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2022 First Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament from June 9 to July 2 seeks to deliberate on draft community regulations emanating from the Commission.
The Parliamentarians will also discuss issues bothering on examining community strategies targeted at improving governance.
It will also address issues of unconstitutional change of governance, insecurity, and proffer solutions towards democratic consolidation in the sub-region.
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