By Paul Ejime
The ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) has lauded the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Sierra Leone, for its professionalism during the March 7 general elections and urged it to sustain the exemplary conduct through the completion of the presidential run-off vote scheduled for March 27.
According to a statement by ECONEC’s spokesman, Paul Ejime and dated 18th March, President of the ECONEC governing board and Chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu in a goodwill message said: “Conducting four elections in one day (presidential, parliamentary, district and local council) is not a mean feat, and in spite of minor hitches reported by election observers, Sierra Leone’s political stakeholders – the electorate, government and security agencies, civil society and NEC, deserve commendation for the responsible conduct and patriotism exhibited during the first phase of the electoral process.”
The ECONEC President expressed his optimism that NEC will live up to the high expectations of Sierra Leoneans and the international community in its determination to deliver peaceful and credible elections. This will contribute to the consolidation of stability and democracy in the country and the ECOWAS region as a whole.
Prof. Yakubu further reiterated ECONEC’s commitment to continued support for NEC Sierra Leone in line with the Network’s mandate of assisting its members, including through information and experience sharing, peer collaboration, pooling of resources and advocacy for technical and logistic support.
Last July, Prof. Yakubu led an ECONEC delegation on a Needs Assessment Mission to Sierra Leone. This was followed by an advocacy that resulted in the donation of logistics items by the Nigerian government to NEC Sierra Leone.
The support includes five 4-wheel-drive pick-up vehicles, two trucks, two speed boats and five motorcycles. Some of the items have already arrived in Sierra Leone.
Also, members of the ECOWAS Election Observation Mission to Sierra Leone monitoring the electoral process in the country include ECONEC secretariat staff.