New chair of regional electoral management body receives ECOWAS delegation
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the newly-elected President of the Board of ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC) pledged that the network will work with ECOWAS and development partners to push for democracy through elections with integrity across the region during his two-year tenure.
Prof Yakubu, who current Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was elected the chair of the five-member board at ECONEC’s 5th Biennial General Assembly meeting held in Cotonou, Benin Republic last month.
His counterpart from Benin was elected the1st Vice-President, Guinea-Bissau, 2nd Vice-President, while Burkina Faso was elected Treasurer and Cape Verd as deputy Treasurer.
Addressing the media while receiving a delegation of ECOWAS Commission and ECONEC Secretariat officials at INEC Abuja Headquarters on April 12, he explained that the hosting of the ECOWAS Commission and the regional network of electoral Commissions by Nigeria would “make for a vibrant ECOWAS and ECONEC.’’
“There can be no ECONEC without ECOWAS,’’ he said, adding the new board would work for a “robust ECONEC’’.
Prof. Yakubu, who used the opportunity to introduce other INEC Commissioners to the visiting delegation, said the new position imposed additional responsibility on INEC to work harder and collaborate with other Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) to deliver credible elections in the region.
He said ECONEC provided a forum for peer review, cooperation and experience sharing on best practices among EMBs in the region for improved management and delivery of credible elections for the entrenchment of democracy in West Africa.
The ECOWAS Commissioner of Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs Halima Ahmed, who led the ECOWAS/ECONEC delegation, congratulated Prof. Yakubu on his well-deserved election.
She expressed the hope that ECONEC’s success and visibility during his tenure would rub off on the ECOWAS Commission.
She pledged the Commission’s readiness for continued support to the ECONEC Secretariat to deliver on its mandate.
After the opening ceremony, both sides went into a working session during which ECONEC’s two-year plan and implementation strategies were discussed and finalised.
The visiting delegation includes the ECOWAS Director of Political Affairs, Dr Remi Ajibewa, Mr Francis Oke, Head of ECOWAS Electoral Assistance Division and ECONEC Permanent Secretary.
Others are Mr Paul Ejime, ECONEC Communications and Advocacy Specialist and Mr Chinedu Chinedu, Finance/Administration officer. ##