Barely hours ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, African civic organizations under the aegis of the Africa We Want Civil Society Alliance on African Governance Architecture (AGA) and working on the project: “Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture,” have called on the Nigerian government, political parties, the media, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to ensure the upcoming elections were free, fair and credible.
The Africa We Want Civil Society Alliance on African Governance Architecture (AGA) is a platform for dialogue between the various stakeholders who are mandated to promote good governance and strengthen democracy in Africa through the implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) which was adopted by the AU Assembly in 2007.
“Elections are an objective and principle of the ACDEG, and as a Member State of the African Union Commission (AUC) that has signed and ratified the Charter, the Republic of Nigeria has the responsibility of ensuring the elections are conducted in accordance with the provisions of ACDEG and Constitution of the country,” says a press statement by the coalition.
The coalition expressed their dismay over the abrupt postponement of the general elections, which was earlier scheduled for 16 February 2019; therefore, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that all the conditions necessary for incident-free and successful elections were put in place.
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In addition, the statement further challenged the Nigerian media fraternity to serve as the society’s watch-dogs while using their platforms to promote well-balanced and solutions-driven discourses during and after the elections. “We implore the electorates and the Nigerian population to conduct themselves as responsible citizens and use the elections to seek development for the Republic,” the statement concluded.
The statement was signed by ActionAid in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Rwanda and Gambia; as well as the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Other signatories were Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF), and Southern African Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (SADC – CNGO).