The immediate past President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and six other former West African leaders on Thursday, have joined forces to establish a mechanism aimed to thwart and fix election related conflicts and maintaining stability in the sub-region.
While speaking at the inauguration of the West African Elders Forum, an initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) with support from OSIWA, which seeks to limit electoral violence and promote democratic stability in West Africa, the leaders resolved to collectively exert their enormous goodwill towards ensuring peace in West African nations, by promoting credible elections and good governance, in order to prevent the nations from descending crisis.
Former President Jonathan who is the Chairman of GJF described the West African Elders Forum as an initiative that is determined to leverage on the rich resources of eminent personalities in West Africa to promote peace and support processes that enhance sustainable democracy. He stated that the vision “is to harness the experience and wisdom of our region’s eminent leaders to advance the course of political stability and the quest for economic progress and prosperity in our countries.”
Speaking in support of the initiative former President Obasanjo noted that the leaders need to work individually and collectively “to deal with post-pandemic development like governance to build an inclusive society within our respective societies in West Africa.”
Similarly, former President of Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf in her own words said: “Many of us have been involved in mediations and interventions either as individuals or sometimes as part of institutional arrangements to achieve the objective of good governance, peace and security. But we have lacked a collective African effort and this is what this group will bring.”
Other former Presidents who participated in the virtual event are Pedro Pires Cabo Verde, Amos Sawyer, Ernest Bai Koroma, as well as former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Mrs. Aminata Traore.