In February, members of the AAEA embarked on a joint Peer Support and Learning Mission (PSLM) to Nigeria, ahead of its 2023 General Elections, organised by the ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) and the Electoral Commissions Forum of SADC countries (ECF-SADC). The Mission aimed at providing an opportunity for Chairpersons of Electoral Commissions to offer support to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, as well as observe the Elections held on Saturday, 25th February.
The Mission took place from Wednesday 22nd to Tuesday 28th February, and consisted of eight Chairpersons of ECOWAS, SADC and AAEA member Electoral Commissions from Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Namibia and Tanzania.
The AAEA members included Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana and President of the AAEA Executive Committee; Dr Sacca Lafia, Chairman of the National Autonomous Electoral Commission of Benin; Mr. Alieu Momarr Njai, Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission of Gambia; Mrs. Davidetta Lansanah, Chairperson of the National Elections Commission of Liberia; and Mrs. Elsie Nghikembua, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Namibia.
Over the five-day period, the Mission conducted several visits with key stakeholders in the Elections from a cross-section of governance and civil society organizations in Abuja. The Mission held meetings with INEC and Chairman Yakubu, and paid a courtesy call on the Head of the ECOWAS Election Observer Mission, and former President of Sierra Leone, H.E. Mr Ernest Bai Koroma. The Mission also met with the Resident Representative of UNDP Nigeria, Mr Mohamed Yahya, to discuss the Elections.
An important visit was also made by the Mission to the Situation Room of Yiaga Africa, a non-profit civic hub dedicated to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic education.
On Election Day, the Mission went into the field to observe the conduct of elections at a number of polling stations, before heading to the National Collation Centre to observe various aspects of the Declaration of Results.
Overall, the Mission was a success, with the team effectively observing key aspects of the General Elections in Nigeria, and lending its support to Chairman Yakubu and INEC.
The joint Peer Support and Learning Mission was deployed with financial and technical support from the UNDP, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA).
Below are photos from some of the Mission’s activities in Nigeria.