Polls: Commonwealth, AU, EU, ECOWAS Observers Hold Secret Meeting

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Following the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) decision to postpone the 2019 General Elections, the international and local observers for the polls met on Saturday, at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

The New Diplomat gathered that the meeting, which started at about 11.00am, was held inside the Plateau Ballroom of the hotel.

The meeting, which had in attendance Commonwealth Observer team, EU Observer team, AU Observer team and ECOWAS Observer mission, and others, lasted for about an hour.

Some of the leaders of the local observer groups sighted by newsmen included Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Ms. Idayat Hassan, Director, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).

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Others were Mr Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Mr Samson Itodo, Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA, among others.

Shortly after the meeting, correspondents approached the Head, ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and former Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on what the meeting was all about and her reaction to the election postponement.

Johnson-Sirleaf, however, declined to comment saying that newsmen would be briefed later.

”I cannot say anything now. We are still on talks. I will brief you later,” she said.

A copy of the meeting agenda gotten by NAN was titled: ”Meeting of Heads of International Election Observation Missions in Nigeria.”

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The agenda read: ”Opening remarks by H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Head of AU Election Observation Mission.

“Discussion on the issue of postponement of the elections and update on the current political situation.

“Discussion on the way forward; and Any Other Business (AOB).”

Shortly after the meeting, correspondents approached the Head, ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and former Liberian President, Mrs Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, on what the meeting was all about and her reaction to the election postponement.

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Johnson-Sirleaf, however, declined to comment saying that newsmen would be briefed later.

”I cannot say anything now. We are still on talks. I will brief you later,” she said.

A copy of the meeting agenda gotten by NAN was titled: ”Meeting of Heads of International Election Observation Missions in Nigeria.”

The agenda read: ”Opening remarks by H.E. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Head of ECOWAS Election Observation Mission and H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Head of AU Election Observation Mission.

“Discussion on the issue of postponement of the elections and update on the current political situation.

“Discussion on the way forward; and Any Other Business (AOB).”

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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