West Africa Civil Society Urges ECOWAS President to Save Credibility By Ostracizing Obasanjo From Monitoring Elections

Olusegun Obasanjo
By Saharareporters, New York

General Olusegun Obasanjo’s sinking international reputation as a misfit in democracy circles took a deeper plunge today with members of the Civil Society community in West Africa distancing themselves from his “utterances, positions, recommendations and past records” while on Elections Observation duty in several countries in the region.

In a letter to the President of ECOWAS, the members cited missions in Togo, Senegal and the just-concluded one in Ghana in which Obasanjo had been involved and the controversies they led to, and suggested the development of minimum criteria for the selection of the Head of its Elections Observation and Mediation Missions in the region.

“[Obasanjo] did not only unilaterally smuggle a repressive and undemocratic anti-freedom of information recommendation into the preliminary declaration, but he also went  further to openly canvass  for the strict regulation of press freedom during the ECOWAS/AU press briefing,” said the letter, which was signed by 14 members from countries across West Africa, including Nigeria.

“Past leaders with unenviable records and undemocratic antecedence cannot be honored with the task of supervising a democratic process,” they said.  
They also called on ECOWAS to consider providing concrete analytical support and technical assistance to the Heads of Mission to properly advise them on their activities, utterances, and interventions in relation to the discharge of their duties as Heads of Mission during elections observation missions.

“ECOWAS should endeavour to comprehensively brief the Heads of Mission on the Code of Conduct for election observers, specifically the need for observers to be strictly unbiased, impartial and neutral towards national authorities, political parties, and candidates among other stakeholders in the elections, or any activities connected to the conduct thereof, while conducting their duties,” they recommended.

With reference to Obasanjo personally, they underlined that his actions do not only generate negative dispositions in relation to ECOWAS' expected neutrality during election exercises, but also portend serious danger to the safety and security of the many observers that are often deployed on behalf of the ECOWAS observation missions.

“We wish to recall that President Obasanjo conducted what was widely-described as the most undemocratic elections in the history of his country, Nigeria,” the letter said.

“The elections of 2003 and 2007 superintended by President Obasanjo brought international opprobrium on the country. This is a fact that has been registered in several quarters on the global scene. It is therefore certain that the former President is not in the caliber of Elder Statesmen desired for such delicate interventions as Elections Observation assignments.”

Four days ago, the leadership of ECOWAS held an emergency meeting at which they vowed never to invite Obasanjo ever again to head an election monitoring mission.  This followed the embarrassing revelation that he was behind the recommendation of the ECOWAS observation team that the media be curtailed in election observation, a position that contradicts the normal position of ECOWAS and the United Nations.

Using a variety of under-handed methods, Obasanjo has manipulated elections in Nigeria for many years, including imposing candidates on the Peoples Democratic Party, and rigging them into office.

Text of the Letter
OPEN LETTER ON THE INVITATION OF GENERAL OBASANJO TO HEAD ECOWAS ELECTIONS OBSERVER MISSIONS

We members of the Civil Society community in West Africa, while extending our sincere compliments to the ECOWAS President, wish to register our deep concern over recent developments with respect to the appointment of former Heads of State and Government to head ECOWAS Elections Observation Missions across West Africa.

We wish to express our deep concerned with the utterances, positions, recommendations and past records of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria while on Elections Observation duty in several countries across the West African region. In specific terms, past missions involving the former Head of State ended with controversial interventions as follows:

1.    The intervention of President Obasanjo during the Togolese transition in 2005 was considered undemocratic by Observers and Togolese Citizens. Falling-out from this, incidents of attacks on some ECOWAS observers during the last elections in Togo were recorded;

2.    Former President Obasanjo's Mission to Senegal under the ECOWAS generated international and local criticisms where, as Head of Mission for the ECOWAS Observation Team, he appealed for an unconstitutional and undemocratic tenure elongation of 2 years for the former President Abdoulaye Wade; and,

3.    Lastly and most recent is President Obasanjo's appointment as ECOWAS and AU Head of Mission to the just concluded Ghanaian General Elections. The Head of Mission did not only unilaterally smuggle a repressive and undemocratic anti-freedom of information recommendation into the preliminary declaration, but he also went  further to openly canvass  for the strict regulation of press freedom during the ECOWAS/AU press briefing.

We therefore note that such actions do not only generate negative dispositions in relation to ECOWAS' expected neutrality during election exercises in Member States, but they  also portend serious danger to the safety and security of the teeming observers often deployed on behalf of the ECOWAS Observation Missions.

We  wish to recall that  President Obasanjo conducted what  was widely  described as the most undemocratic elections in the history of his country, Nigeria. The elections of 2003 and 2007 superintended by President Obasanjo brought international opprobrium on the country. This is a fact that has been registered in several quarters on the global scene. It is therefore certain that the former President is not in the caliber of Elder Statesmen desired for such delicate interventions as Elections Observation assignments.

In the light of the above, and to ensure the integrity, neutrality and professionalism of elections observation missions conducted by the regional organization, we hereby forward the following recommendations related to the appointment and deployment of Heads of ECOWAS Elections Observation missions:

1.    ECOWAS should develop minimum criteria for the selection of Head of its Elections Observation and Mediation Missions in the region. Past leaders with unenviable records and undemocratic antecedence cannot be honored with the task of supervising a democratic process.

2.    ECOWAS should consider providing concrete analytical support and technical assistance to the Heads of Mission to properly advise them on their activities, utterances, and interventions in relation to the discharge of their duties as Heads of Mission during ECOWAS Elections Observation Missions.

3.    ECOWAS should endeavour to comprehensively brief the Heads of Mission on the Code of Conduct for election observers, specifically the need for observers to be strictly unbiased, impartial and neutral towards national authorities, political parties, and candidates among other stakeholders in the elections, or any activities connected to the conduct thereof, while conducting their duties.

While we anticipate your understanding and necessary action in relation to our observations and recommendations, kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim. West African Civil Society Forum
Alioune Tine, RADDHO-Senegal
'Lanre Suraju   CSNAC-Nigeria
Prof. Oumar Ndongo, SYTO-Senegal
Idayat Hassan, CDD-Nigeria
Wodjo Traore Fini, COSOPCI-Cote d’Ivoire
Madi Jobarteh, TANGO-The Gambia
Ngolo Katta, CCYA-Sierra Leone
Constant Gnakadja, WANEP-Benin
Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, IDEG-Ghana
Guy Ahianyo Kokou, CALYPSO, Togo
Gadiry Abdoul Diallo, OGDH-Guinea
Mamadou Queta, Guinea Bissao
Malcolm Joseph, CEMESP-Liberia
 

Comments
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YCaCQ

What works very well is using a peeled banana.

GhmMF

What should I do with my hair.He doesn't build his own spaceships or robots for fun.

Mathew 7:19

Mathew. 7:19
Every tree that does not bear good fruit must be cut down and thrown into the fire.

be sensible

is like u are fool,

obj/honest electoral liability

THIS IS MY OPEN THANKSGIVING TO THE ALMIGHTY THAT ENSURES FACTS NOT TO DIE. AT LAST THE SURE SONGS ARE BEING SUNG PUBLICLY STARTING FROM JIMMY CARTER, ECOWAS; WHERE NIGERIAN RULERS FAIL TO OPEN THEIR MOUTHS TO SING BEAUTIFUL SONG WITHOUT FEAR AND OR FAVOR. I WILL LIVE TO PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY ALWAYS PRAISES TO THE MOST ALMIGHTY ALWAYS BEIGN THAT HIDES NOTHING FROM ALL; AND ANSWERS FACTUAL HONEST PRAYERS. PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES

SAHARA, THANKS FOR REPORTING THIS.

obj/honest electoral liability

THIS IS MY OPEN THANKSGIVING TO THE ALMIGHTY THAT ENSURES FACTS NOT TO DIE. AT LAST THE SURE SONGS ARE BEING SUNG PUBLICLY STARTING FROM JIMMY CARTER, ECOWAS; WHERE NIGERIAN RULERS FAIL TO OPEN THEIR MOUTHS TO SING BEAUTIFUL SONG WITHOUT FEAR AND OR FAVOR. I WILL LIVE TO PRAISE THE ALMIGHTY ALWAYS PRAISES TO THE MOST ALMIGHTY ALWAYS BEIGN THAT HIDES NOTHING FROM ALL; AND ANSWERS FACTUAL HONEST PRAYERS. PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES PRAISES

SAHARA, THANKS FOR REPORTING THIS.

OBASANJO; HEAD OF STATE EXTRAORDINARY

Whether we know OBJ or not, he is bad news, bad taste, bad breath. He is bad personified. In mathematics, the conclusion would have been QED. End of discussion. Obj is not worth the dignified space given to him - anyday, anywhere and anytime. The natural environment for maggots is a cesspit. That is Obj for you.
Any apologies? No.
Thank you

Interesting

It is amazing that we can be so vocal and abusive of a person we probably don't know one on one and pour out such anger and attitude that is foreign to Africans all in the name of freedom of speech based on newspaper reports and grapevine discussion. If we can't criticize without insulting then it means we are not as sophisticated as we think we are. We should be able to read a piece of headline and not be so bitter and emotional in expressing our concern.
Let us control our base elements from running all over our character and person

@sultanofsokoto

BUHARI wil not weep for your type again, moron!

This is a good lesson learnt

This is a good lesson learnt in a hard way. If this African observers are truly democratic, they should know the only credible former president in Nigeria capable of handling the task!

tundemash, Baba may not be

tundemash,

Baba may not be perfect, but who is? I will take him over any leader of Nigeria since Gowon. The man also did many good things for Nigeria. Without him the North would have had all of us for lunch, and you know it.

Obasanjo Father?

Who is using this word? On what ground? Is Obasanjo a founding father of Nigeria or what? Maybe Obasanjo is yours and your sibling father but don't use such word here.
I also kick against referring a living politician - president, governor, LG Chairman as father. It is a recipe to corruption. Can you investigate your father and is your father accountable to you even if he misappropriates fund?. Please know the potency of words.

OTI- OLE

Oti-ole, ole, ole, ole!!!!! you are ole!! nothing but ole! Have you not seen and heard it that the whole of West Africa have opened the mask from your masters' face to show the whole world the stuff he is made of?
Do you think this is tribal politics played in Nigeria to rob the poor and needy of their rights? Listen Ole, your big boss is disgraced and a disgraced to Nigeria and the whole of Africa and the entire world.No one will ever respect him again. Let him come home and fight with GoodLuck Jonathan for daring him, opposing his over bloated ego and commandeerism. Nigerians will stone him one day, very soon!!

THE MASQUERADE HAS GONE OUTSIDE...

Who said this is international gang rape against Obasanjo, people like you are insane. How wonderful to live with one's nemesis! You may be fragmented, usurper, chaotic, maradonic, a terrorist, killer, manipulator, enemy of good but you feel absolved of all the blame for it here in Nigeria but the fact is that the outside world have eyes and ears. Our Nigerian masquerade, Chief, General Obasanjo has finally gone outside to demonstrate his typical dance step used to submerged Nigeria and Nigerians into the present mess. He actually danced the the Gangman style-e in Ghana but some paid little attention to the reality of his gangsterism.
After ECOWAS is Nigerians, we all have to ask this man to vomit all the money he has looted to Nigerians and beg his son to forgive him for sleeping with his daughter in-law!

THE GANGSTER MAN STYLEE

Very good! How wonderful to live with one's nemesis! You may be fragmented, usurper, chaotic, maradonic, a terrorist, killer, manipulator, enemy of good but you feel absolved of all the blame for it here in Nigeria but the fact is that the outside world have eyes and ears. Our Nigerian masquerade, Chief, General Obasanjo has finally gone outside to demonstrate his typical dance step used to submerged Nigeria and Nigerians into the present mess. He actually danced the the Gangman style-e in Ghana but some paid little attention to the reality of his gangsterism.
After ECOWAS is Nigerians, we all have to ask this man to vomit all the money he has looted to Nigerians and beg his son to forgive him for sleeping with his daughter in-law!

VERY GOOD!

Very good! How wonderful to live with one's nemesis! You may be fragmented,usurper, chaotic, maradonic, a terrorist, killer, manipulator, enemy of good but you feel absolved of all the blame for it here in Nigeria but the fact is that the outside world have eyes and ears. Our Nigerian masquerade, Chief, General Obasanjo has finally gone outside to demonstrate his typical dance step used to submerged Nigeria and Nigerians into the present mess. He actually danceg the the Gangman style-e in Ghana but some paid little attention to the reality of his gangsterism.
After ECOWAS is Nigerians, we all have to ask this man to vomit all the money he has looted to Nigerians and beg his son to forgive him for sleeping with his daughter inlaw!

May the hottest place in hell be reserved for him when he dies

He sent soldiers to my Odi village to kill women & children when he could not get any freedom fighter they love to call militants ...

He sold my Bakassi to Cameroon on the istruction of america & Britain as they promised him military support, thereby making my innately endowed peoples refugees in Calabar secondary schools for months & years after...

He sold our oil wells to Theophilus Danjuma & David Mark...

I also recall Zango Kataf episode...

The sins of OBJ are indeed legion

May his plane crash above the den of lions. May the hottest place in hell be reserved for him. AMEN

kwestshons

1. what - the hell! - is a

'direct leader' ?

2. and - what the hell' -

is an

'alter' ?

OBJ's alter ego ???

Prof of penkele kwestshons

Obasanjo is an illitrate Clown

They should blame themselves for appointing him in the first place. They knew his anticedents before offering him the job. Responsible people distance themselves from irresponsible people. A monster used by Abokis to quieten the noise about Abiola, he went on to become Nigeria's worst ex-leader in a list that includes Abacha. But his legacy of punishing Nigerians with a vegetable/fake Dr. remains his biggest abuse of the democratic process. Uncouth, boisterous and thoroughly corrupt, his stooge Dr. Dumbo has since commercialized corruption and Justice is now For Sale! The only favour Obasanjo can do Nigerians is to simply Drop Dead. He's nothing but old bad news. A murderous, incesteous, dirty ol' fool without class who stole over $100bn. in 8yrs of dictatorship. An army vulcanizer that rose through the ranks by luck, he has spent his entire life eye-serving arid Abokis. He understands the mood of Naijas towards him and knows a revolution will engulf him among firsts.

A BASTARD IS ALWAYS A BASTARD!

Ise ile ni nbani de ode!

All those against Obasanjo are failures

Where were you when Obasanjo ruled and led Nigeria three good times? I know he dealt a blow to some of you because he refused to be controlled by you. He retired the political soldiers,He broke the backbone of the northern Political Big wigs.Why wont he be fiercely hated? He brought phone and the internet we are using to cajole him.Be honest before 1999, no phone,new cars, buildings, etc but visit even the villages 8 years later the story was different. Only fools will ignore Obansanjo's giant strikes he laid a solid foundation upon which others ought to build upon.

OBASANJO

this good to be hear from abroad watchdog that are looking into Nigeria politicians system of government.. more entertainment news and celebrity gist here at www.gistyinka.com

@tundemash

Mr Mess pls don´t forget how we got here in the first place, how long have you being living on earth?..who were his predecessors? You seem Mr tundeyansh, to enjoy perpetuating the memory of your suffering from the election miseries of your mentor but take heart, the next round of "selection" is not until 2015 should Nigeria still be one till then and should against all odds, nigeria still be one country, BUHARI will weep again so go and have a sip of holy water or recite some jargon out of your koran to cool your temper.

Back to the issue at hand, baba will continue to rot in his self inflated ego cos like they say, "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks".

hmmm! true yoruba man indeed

I think yorubas are sensible people, but if u are saying OBj is a true yoruba man, then the whole yoruba race is doomed. Its a thing of shame and disgrace to have such a race in this country

Na today , sahara don dey

Na today , sahara don dey carry this kind of news against OBJ. no other mainstream media carried this despite their anti OBJ stand. Any group seeking relevance can sign anything , I dont see this having any impact on Obj

OBJ IS FINISHED

@sangoyomi, you are a disgrace to the Yoruba race! Lanre Surajo is one of the signatories to the wise communique released by concerned citizens of West Africa. Why not join Nigerians to bemoan the disgrace OBJ has brought to this nation.Thank God ECOWAS is not Nigeria where buffoons attach tribal sentiments to trivialize serious issues of misgovernance. If you don't know, OBJ is a leper in Ogun State his state of origin in Nigeria. No civilized Yoruba is proud of him!
Young Nigerians should come together to fight these wasteful past looters(leaders)like OBJ, IBB, ABDUSALAMI, DANJUMA and their present representatives in govt.

@Otile: Speak for yourself; OBJ is your father not our father !

@Otile

If the incestuous OBJ is your father u can claim it but stop using "our". You do not speak for us all.
What is direct in the leadership of a man who spent $16b on electricity and yet there is darkness all over ? What is direct in the leadership of a man who had just N20k in his account before becoming President but he's now one of teh richest Nigeria after 8 yrs in power ? What is direct in the leadership of a man whose action of manipulating elections has brought Nigeria into this mess. If you as OBJ's son, is suffering memory loss, wecan remember vividly events since 1999.

Ecowas wake up-General Obasanjo is not a true democrat

General Obasanjo has never conducted any credible election or supported any in his home country Nigeria. It's absolutely an insult and incredulous for him to be involved in Ghanaian election when he has never been a true democratic. Ecowas should be ashamed. Thank you WACS!

OBJ, the pseudo-nationalist and fake democrat...

It's quite heart-warming to see that Gen Obasanjo's make-up has not only been smudged, but is rapidly being washed away by 'time', the father of 'truth', to reveal 'The Man Behind The Masquerade'... You can only give out what you possess. Pitiably, pathological Ungodliness is his primary possession - Simple !

They will all fail against Obasanjo

This is a plot against Obasanjo and they will all fail in Jesus Name!Baba is never a pretender!He is a real Yoruba man and noting any group will do to bring him down! Who God has blessed no man can curse

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