Guarantee free, fair and credible elections as bedrock for democracy-Buhari tells African leaders.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appealed to ECOWAS leaders to guarantee free, fair and credible elections as this is the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law.

Speaking at the 57th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Niamey-Niger Republic, President Buhari appealed to the leaders to resist the urge to elongate their tenure in office beyond constitutional limits.

Buhari urged his colleagues to respect constitutional provisions and ensure free and fair elections.

According to him, it is “important that as leaders of our individual Member-States of ECOWAS, we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.

“As it is, the challenges facing the sub-region are enormous; from socio-economic matters to security issues, the ECOWAS sub-region cannot, therefore, afford another political crisis, in the guise of tenure elongation.

”I urge us all to resist the temptation of seeking to perpetuate ourselves in power beyond the constitutional provisions.

“I commend those in our midst that have resisted such temptations, for they will be deemed exceptional role models in their respective countries and the sub-region as a whole.

“Related to this call for restraint is the need to guarantee free, fair and credible elections.

This must be the bedrock for democracy to be sustained in our sub-region, just as the need for adherence to the rule of law” he added.


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