By Joy Odor
The Nigeria government on Monday, 16th May 2022 says it is committed to restore the overthrown democracies in the ECOWAS sub region through Electoral process.
Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Mr Geoffrey Onyeama disclose the hint while granting in audience the Secretary General of the Communities Of Democracies, Mr Thomas Garretts, in Abuja.
Mr. Onyeama affirmed it’s commitment to renewed Nigeria membership of the Governing Council of Community of Democracies, noting that she played an important role in Africa and in the sub region to promote and maintain democracy.
He maintained that not only is Nigeria seeking to review its membership of the Governing Council when she is going into 2023 general elections rather to further reinforce democracy in the country.
The MFA Minister was of the opinion that to maintain the democratic culture and architecture, it required a lot of different initiatives and the government is fully committed to entrenching democracy in Nigeria and, taking all the measures necessary to ensure it just becomes part of the DNA of the country.
“Unfortunately, of course, we have seen step backwards in a number of countries recently, in the sub region in which the constitutional order has been overthrown, we are also working very closely with ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, in engaging those countries to seek a very quick return to constitutional order.
“Nigeria played a very important role in shoring up the democratic system of governance in African, and also play a significant role in the electoral processes in countries in this region.
“And they’re supporting that process. And you know, of course, to maintain the democratic culture and architecture, it requires a lot of different initiatives and the government is fully committed to entrenching democracy in this country, taking all the measures necessary to ensure it just becomes part of the DNA of our country” he stressed.
The MFA Minister added that Nigeria is trying hard to ensure free and fair elections, promoting use of technology to ensure that each vote counts, saying lot of other measures are being taken to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to perform their roles more effectively and efficiently.
He noted that under President Muhammadu Buhari administration Nigeria played an important role to bring democracy in Gambia and support the countries of the sub region in reinforcing and strengthening their democratic systems in Guinea Bissau.
“We have taken under President Muhammadu Buhari a number of very important initiatives to further strengthen democracy in our country. Measures like not too young to run has seen us bringing the age of participation in the democratic process, reducing it as we are a very young society, a youthful society and wanting to empower the youth to engage in the democratic process.
“And a number of initiatives have been successful, but we nevertheless determined to have greater participation of women and visual representation of women in our democratic architecture, and democratic process” Onyeama ended.