As APC assures UN of peaceful, credible elections

‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja

Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif speaking at the event

Daily Courier – Ahead of the 2023 General Elections, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of the United Nations and Head of the UN Office for West and Sahel, Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif has challenged Nigeria to live up to its towering status on the continent.

Annadif gave this charge when he visited the National Leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja today, June 27, 2022.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General stated: “Nigeria is a very important country in West Africa and the Sahel where I am responsible on the UN side. Nigeria of course must stand as an example for other African countries. We recognize that the election would be held next year in the country and our expectation is that Nigeria will be exemplary in West Africa and of course in Africa. West Africa needs good examples and if the example is coming from a big country like Nigeria it will be clear.”

Annadif disclosed that the UN delegation had met with the election umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and would also confer with other actors to guarantee a free and acceptable election next year.

“And you as APC, the party in power has an important role to play. We would as UN support you, the INEC playing a very important role, we call on all the actors to allow the election to be conducted peacefully. Their is a saying that “when Nigeria sneezes all the region catches cold.” So we like and hope that you will be the locomotive for the region. And this is the role we expect you as APC to play” he added.

The high level UN 8-member delegation was received by the APC National Chairman, H.E. Sen. Abdullahi Adamu represented by the party’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Abubakar Kyari.

Sen. Kyari in his remarks assures the entire UN body through the SRSG that the APC is committed to the ideals of democratic governance and observance of rule of law in all its undertakings, and shall continue to apply them diligently while canvassing for votes and while it forms the next national government in 2023.

“We wish to inform the SRSG that the APC is poised to go into the general elections in the country with commitment to observing the rule of law and intend to participate peacefully. Bring the ruling Party and one with the largest number of registered members numbering 43 million people, the APC has every stake in the orderly and peaceful conduct of the elections across Nigeria.

“The APC considers the gubernatorial election that recently took place in Ekiti State as a referendum and a vote of confidence in the Party and a pointer to 2023 when the Party hopes to form the government in the center and also in most of the states across the six geopolitical zones of the country” he said.

He noted the high level positions that Africans occupy in the international system and the key roles that they have been playing. These include the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Muhammad, the Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebrehyesus, The Director-General of WTO, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the SRSG, Mr. Annadif Mahamat Saleh among many others.

Kyari appealed to the UN to support Borno state and other states plaqued by terrorism in there quest to rebuild.

“The greatest challenge facing Borno State as of today is adequate funding of the State Government’s resettlement projects that would require the reconstruction of entire towns and villages and restoration of services like electricity, water and sanitation and reopening of schools and hospitals in virtually all parts of the State.

“The Party calls for a concerted effort on the part of the UN and the rest of the international community to support the process of peace-building and reconstruction in Borno State and other parts of Nigeria that have been adversely affected by insurgency and other forms of unrest and insecurity.”

Some of the APC national working comitteee members at the meeting include: National Organising Secretary, Alh. Suleiman Argungu;National Welfare Secretary, Sir F.N. Nwosu;National Auditor, Sen. Abubakar Maikafi;National Legal Adviser, Barr. Ahmad El-Marzuq; National Financial Secretary, Barr. Bashir Usman Gumel; Deputy National Secretary, Barr. Festus Fuanter; Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Yakubu Murtala Ajaka; Deputy Financial Secretary, Hon. Hamma-Adama Kumo.

Other members of the UN delegation are: Mr. Matttias Schmale, Resident Cordinator of the UN System in Nigeria; Mr. William Lifongo, Senior Political Adviser; Mr. Kouider Zerrouk, Chief of the Strategic Communication, Publication and Information Office; Ms. Falmata Liman, Political Affairs Officer; Mr. Franklin Ngochi, Special Assistant to the SRSG; Ms. Kimairia Toogood, Peace and Development Advisor, Office of the UN Resident Coordinator; Fred Eno, Special Advisorn to the UN Resident Coordinator and James Aji, Liason office to ECOWAS.