Polls postponement: ECOWAS Head of Observer Mission departs Nigeria

From left: National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine; Head of ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Nigeria, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during the visits of delegation of ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Nigeria, on Wednesday in Abuja (6/2/19).
From left: National Commissioner of INEC, Prof. Antonia Okoosi-Simbine; Head of ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Nigeria, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; and Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, during the visits of delegation of ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Nigeria, on Wednesday in Abuja (6/2/19). 01165/6/2/2019/Hogan Bassey/NAN

The ECOWAS Head of Election Observer Mission, former Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Monday returned to her country following the postponement of the February 16 general elections.

Mr Jonathan Bara-Hart of the Directorate of Communications, ECOWAS Commission, in a telephone interview, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that Mrs Johnson-Sirleaf would be back to Nigeria on Thursday.

“You are asking of the observers; they were given the option of staying, most of them are staying. I do not know if some left.

“I do not think the delegation is without her, she is probably returning with her delegation on Thursday.”

Mr Bara-Hart said that there were four members in her delegation from different parts of the region.

NAN reports that the United Nations, Commonwealth, European Union, African Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation were among international observers approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the elections.

INEC had rescheduled Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections until February 23 and also postponed the governorship, state assemblies and FCT area council elections from March 2 to March 9.

The Heads of the international observation missions in Nigeria on Saturday in a joint statement urged INEC to strictly adhere to the new dates it had scheduled for the general elections.

They also called on Nigerians to continue to remain calm and supportive of the electoral process as INEC worked to implement its new timeline.

The missions also added that they would continue to closely observe preparations across the country.

(NAN)

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