-Amb. Babatude Ajisomo Asserts
By Esau J. Farr
The Special Representative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has praised the transitional time interval between two democratically elected governments (the incumbent and government elect) in Liberia describing it as ‘better’ than that of Nigeria.
Amb. Babatundi Ajisomo made the assertion last week, March 27, 2019 at a local hotel in Monrovia when he made remarks on behalf of ECOWAS during a one day ‘ECC Stakeholders’ National Conference on Electoral Reform’ under the theme, “Strengthening Liberia’s Democracy through Electoral Reform”.
ECC is the Election Coordinating Committee, a civil society organization (CSO) with focus on electoral issues in Liberia that works in partnership with other high ranking CSOs working in Liberia aimed at strengthening the democratic system of the country.
Making brief remarks at the event, Amb. Ajisomo pointed out that unlike the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections in Liberia which was mostly characterized by less security concern, the just ended 2019 Presidential Election in Nigeria had serious security concern describing it as highly sensitive militarized.
According to him, one thing he admires in the democratic system of Liberia is the space given for transitional period between a sitting government and ‘government elect’ compared to Nigeria that inaugurates and or induct into office ‘President elect’ on the same day final election results are announced.
“One thing I admire or like about Liberia is your system of governance is different and better than that of Nigeria where inauguration is held on the same day the final result is announced,” Amb. Ajisomo stressed.
He acknowledged that there is always a need to give a reasonable time frame or space between outgoing and incoming governments to smoothly transition so as to understand the turnover notes from incumbent leadership to the succeeding one aiming at providing a better idea on where the successor is picking up from in steering the affairs of the country or state.
The ECOWAS Special Representative to Liberia used the occasion and encouraged political parties in member states to strive and design measures aimed at raising sufficient funds to support elections as a way of easing tension and financial burden as being observed in time past.
He disclosed that currently, similar discussion is ongoing amongst major stakeholders in ECOWAS concerned with elections in the sub-region.
Ajisomo also called on all governments in the ECOWAS sub-region to always make available necessary budgetary support to their respective election commissions to ensure the conduct of free, fair, transparent and credible elections at all times. TNR