Muluzu, who said that the team would be supported by a six member staff, while addressing a press conference in Abuja, also expressed satisfaction with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s assurances that the elections would go on as rescheduled.
“Earlier this morning (Monday), my fellow observers and I met with the chairperson of INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, to learn more about preparations for polling day. Over the coming days, we will meet with other relevant stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, independent institutions, civil society and international partners including Commonwealth High Commissioners”, he said.
Muluzu who said that once the stakeholders meetings are concluded the mission would be deployed across the country, added that the team would work with other observer missions to have effective nationwide coverage.
“We will witness the conclusion of the campaigns and observe voting, counting and result process. We will consider whether the conditions exist for credible elections, whether voters are free to express their will, and the transparency of the entire process,” Muluzi said.
He noted that in as much as the mission’s role is not an executive role and not to supervise, it would however, observe the process as a whole and form a judgement after which it would issue an interim statement and a report that would be submitted to Commonwealth Secretary General.
According to him, the report will be sent to the government of Nigeria, INEC and leaders of political parties, and then to all Commonwealth governments, before being released publicly.
He urged all involved in the elections to put the interest of Nigeria first and to play their part in ensuring a peaceful, transparent and credible elections.
Other members of the mission are Peter Anyang Nyong’o, a senator from Kenya; former minister and member of parliament in Uganda, Dr. Miria Matembe; members of Electoral Commissions of Rwanda, Jamaica and Botswana, Mr. Charles Munyaneza, Mr. Orrette Fisher and Mrs Martha Sayed respectively.
Representing the Commonwealth Youth Forum on the Mission is Ms. Ellen Seckold from Australia. There is also a former diplomat from Ghana, Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng; a political analyst from South Africa, Ms. Papama Nomboniso Gasa and a writer and broadcaster from the United Kingdom, Ms. Elizabeth Blunt.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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