The former President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, arrived in Lagos, Nigeria to lead the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission (ECOWAS – EOM) ahead of the country’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections on February 25, 2023.
In a statement, Dr. Koroma assured the president of the ECOWAS Commission that the trust placed in him will be accepted with full responsibility. Dr. Koroma added that credible elections in Nigeria, Africa’s largest democracy, would send a strong signal of support for democracy and good governance to other countries holding elections across the continent including his homeland, Sierra Leone. He also called for a ruthless poll that will reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
Nigeria’s general elections scheduled for February 25, 2023, are essential for peace and stability in the West African subregion, where democracy has decreased and where at least five military coups have taken place in recent times. According to the Sierra Leone Telegraph, about 94 million people have been registered to vote at more than 146,000 polling stations spread across 491 constituencies in Nigeria.
In a letter from the President of ECOWAS, Dr. Umar Allieu Tuoray, the sub-regional body draws on Dr. Koroma’s rich leadership experience and in-depth understanding of political and electoral dynamics in Africa.
Dr. Koroma has successfully led 6 African Union and ECOWAS elections observers missions since 2019. He recognizes the gravity of the Nigeria election task and the importance of the outcome of the elections to the rest of West Africa.
“The 2023 elections in Nigeria are of great significance for the peace, security and democratic growth of West Africa and the entire continent,” said Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma.
With about 250 ethnolinguistic groups and a population of more than 213 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and has the potential to become a major player in the global economy.