Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Albright Leads Election Observer Mission to Nigeria
From Funmi Peter-Omale in Abuja, 03.20.2007
Former United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright is leading a 40-member international election observation team to Nigeria next month.
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) is sponsoring the delegation which includes political and civic leaders, election experts and regional specialists from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America to Nigeria from April 16 to 24 to observe the 2007 general elections. A statement signed by Dr. Keith Jennings, NDI Nigeria’s Country Director noted that through the observation mission, NDI seeks to demonstrate international support for, and interest in, a democratic electoral process in Nigeria.
The delegation will be NDI’s 10th observation mission to Nigeria since the country’s transition from military to civilian rule in 1999. It is part of the institute’s long-term program to support Nigeria ’s democratic institutions.
The delegation which shall have notable personalities including Albright, who is also the Chairman of the NDI Board of Directors will also have Joe Clark, former Prime Minister of Canada; Mahamane Ousmane, Speaker of the ECOWAS parliament and former President of Niger; and Amos Sawyer, former President of Liberia.
It will also include Jeanne Shaheen, Director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University and former Governor of New Hampshire in the US; and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.
Other members of the delegation are Ms. Beverly Baker-Kelly, lawyer and former Deputy Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, well-known U.S. human rights leader Martin Luther King III and Kenneth Wollack, president of NDI.
The delegation will be joined by a team of long-term NDI observers from Cameroon, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and the United States, who will arrive Nigeria this week to observe the campaign period in all of the country’s six geo-political zones prior to the April 14 state legislature and gubernatorial elections and the April 21 National Assembly and presidential elections.