LAGOS, 8 March 2021 – Seven former West African leaders have established a mechanism to promote democracy and prevent post-election violence.

The West African Elders’ Forum was launched under the auspices of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) by six former presidents and one former prime minister.

General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan - Photo Punch Newspapers

Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, & Goodluck Jonathan – The Punch

The former leaders committed Thursday to use their good offices and goodwill to promote credible elections, advance good governance and prevent the descent into chaos that is often triggered by disputed election outcomes.

West African Leaders' Forum - Photo The New Diplomat

West African Leaders’ Forum – Photo The New Diplomat

Three former Nigerian Presidents – General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan – are among its founding members.

The five other former leaders are Pedro Pires of Cape Verde, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and Aminata Traore, a former Senegalese Prime Minister.

Goodluck Jonathan thanked his peers for not relenting in their efforts to maintain “stability in Africa and expanding the democratic space”.

We Want Elections that lead to Zero Deaths - Photo Human Rights Watch

We Want Elections that lead to Zero Deaths, Placard Reads – Photo Human Rights Watch

The forum will help the former leaders work “towards fostering free and fair elections as well as the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another”, Goodluck Jonathan said.

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,” read a statement from Wealth Dickson Ominabo, communications officer at the GJF.

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