Monday, December 10, 2012

Election Monitoring: Embarrassed ECOWAS Vows Never to Invite Obasanjo Again

Following embarrassing and undemocratic utterances by General Olusegun Obasanjo at yesterday’s meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the leadership of the commission today held a review meeting that could end the possibility of future election observation on its behalf by the former Nigerian leader.

As reported yesterday, Obasanjo was the figure behind the recommendation of the ECOWAS observation team to curtail the media in election observation that contradicts the position of ECOWAS and other international democracy observers.

A senior ECOWAS official said of today’s development, “Our meeting this evening has resolved, and this will be communicated to the political leadership of ECOWAS, that Chief Obasanjo should be saved the trouble of trying to give what he doesn't have.”

He said the review was necessitated by the negative reaction generated by General Obasanjo's role in the observation mission and the potential for it to undermine the credibility of ECOWAS in future observation missions.

According to the senior officer, “You know Obasanjo is a loose cannon. He becomes uncontrollable once bestowed with power. We regret this appointment and vowed never to have the man invited to head missions again.

“ECOWAS was only fortunate to have [been] at an election of an advanced and stable democracy. Were it to be a volatile country, his disposition, recommendations and utterances are not only capable of truncating the electoral process, they are capable of jeopardizing the security and safety of our 250 monitors mobilized from across the sub-region.”

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