The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reaffirmed its commitment to a peaceful and stable Nigeria ahead of the 2023 elections.
The Director, Political Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, Remi Ajibewa, made this known on Friday during a sensitisation workshop in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers.
The workshop, with the theme, “Enhancing Media and Political Parties Roles in Promoting Good Participatory Process”, was intended to get stakeholders’ response on how to achieve a successful electioneering process in the 2023 general election.
Mr Ajibewa was represented by Emmanuel Okorodudu, Head of Division, Democracy and Good Governance Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Regional Security at ECOWAS.
Mr Ajibewa said that the Commission would identify with Nigeria as a member state during the elections.
He said that ECOWAS would also deploy short-term and long-term observers in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to monitor and observe the elections.
He said that ECOWAS believed that with such support, Nigeria could achieve a peaceful and violent-free electoral process.
Mr Ajibewa, on behalf of the President of the ECOWAS Commission, also thanked the Rivers State government for being a perfect host.
He also commended the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Rivers for partnering with the Commission, the security agencies, Civil Society Organisations and the media in making the workshop a success.
He also commended the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) for its support.
He urged IPAC to work cordially with the political parties to ensure a peaceful electioneering process in the 2023 general election.
At the meeting, stakeholders called for neutrality on the part of security agencies, asking that they pledge allegiance to the people instead of parties in power or opposition.
They also said that sensitisation and advocacy for security agencies in terms of further operational procedures was necessary.
They also called for equitable deployment of security personnel to all areas and urged security agencies, especially the police, to be proactive, especially on social media.