Ghana has donated 100,000 units of thumbprint pads to Niger Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), to support it organise the second Presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, 21st February, 2021.
The presentation was done on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s Electoral Commission by the country’s Ambassador to Niger, H.E Jonathan Magnusen, at a short ceremony at CENI Head office in Niamey.
About 7.4 million Nigeriens are expected to cast their votes in the second Presidential elections.
The incumbent Nigerien President, Mahamadou Issoufou did not stand for re-election as he has served two terms already.
This means that the elections would lead to Niger’s first transition of power between two elected candidates.
The general elections held in that country on 27th December, 2020 did not produced a winner as no presidential candidate obtained majority of the votes, to be declared winner, hence a second round.
The two contending candidates in the 21st February run off are Mohamed Bazoum of PNDS and Mahamane Ousmane of RDR.
Speaking on on behalf of President Akufo-Addo, who is also the ECOWAS Chair, Ambassador Magnusem commended the Government and the people of Niger for pursuing the path of Democratic governance which was underpinned by the December Presidential Elections.
The outcome of the elections had been hailed by stakeholder civil society groups, elections observers and the international community, who had described it as generally free, fair and credible.
Ambassador Magnusem commended President Mahamadou Issoufou for his decision not to seek an extension of his constitutional two-term mandate which had earn him respect among his peers and the comity of nations.
The Ghanaian envoy underscored the high turnout at the elections, particularly the participation of women as a demonstration of the will Nigeriens to reinforce and consolidate democracy, good governance, stronger institutions, respect for human rights and well as the rule of law in the country.
He recalled the pioneering efforts of the first Presidents of the two countries — Dr Kwame Nkrumah and Mr.Hamani Diori in their quest to re-unite the African continent.
“The donation of election materials comes from the brotherly people of Ghana as a token expression of friendship and solidarity with the people of Niger with the hope that it will complement the efforts the Nigerien government to ensure a successful free, fair and credible second round Presidential elections.”
Ambassador Magnusen commended the political parties, the state parastatal and civil society organisations for the significant role played in facilitating the democratic process in Niger.
He also thanked the Electoral Commission of Ghana for the gesture and commended the “outstanding efforts” by the staff of CENI at ensuring a successful election despite security, infrastructural, logistics and other challenges.
The President of Niger Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Issaka Souna on behalf of the government and people of Niger expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s Electoral Commission for the “prompt assistance to facilitate the organization of the second president elections in his country.
He said that, the request to Ghana for the assistance was occasioned by pressure of time due to the constitutional time limit for the organisation of the second presidential elections as well as delays in international trade and supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Souna thanked Ghana for the swift response to their response “as well as the spirit of generosity, fraternity, solidarity and cooperation that characterised the entire process of arranging and delivering the consignment to Niger.”