Rights Monitoring Group, a coalition of 45 civil society organisations, has concluded arrangements with a leading insurance company to provide adequate insurance policy cover for the 10, 000 observers it plans to deploy for elections.
RMG president, Mr Olufemi Aduwo, who doubles as the Executive Director of the Centre for Convention on Democratic Integrity (CCDI) incorporated in the United States, made this known while speaking with newsmen.
He promised that RMG members, who started monitoring election since 2003 and has observed the election in Ghana, United Kingdom and United States, would give a good account of themselves before, during and after the elections.
He disclosed that the body had already begun the training of its 10,000-strong observes across the six geo-political zones.
RMG along with 115 local and 28 foreign missions were accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the elections.
In preparation for the elections, Aduwo appealed to other accredited observers to sift complaints, rumours, accusations from facts, saying only facts that they witnessed or verified on the field should be used as the basis of their reports.
“Our main objective as a stakeholder in the electoral management should be how to entrench democracy through a free and fair election and enhancement of public confidence in the electoral process to deter fraud, to strengthen respect for human rights and to contribute to the electoral resolution of conflict,” he said.
The returnee of World Bank/IMF Boards of Governors meetings and Permanent Representative of CCDI to the United Nations, Aduwo expressed gratitude to the World Bank Good Governance Program for support and assistance in the areas of re-training of the observers.
He said all the group observers in 2019 were either senior lecturers or doctoral students of Federal Government universities, explaining that it was a deliberate act.
He appealed to politicians to have confidence in the Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led lNEC, saying the commission needed the cooperation of political parties to achieve success at the polls.
On the body bag comment by the Kaduna State governor, Mallam el-Rufai, Aduwo said the statement was condemnable, adding that the governor should be held responsible for any attack on foreign election observers.
“We commend the assistance of US, UK and European Union countries on the support given to lNEC and democratic process in Nigeria. Meanwhile l enjoin the Peace Committee led General Abdulsalam Abubakar to invite APC and PDP leaders re-sign the accord and the issues of hate speech should be addressed.
He counseled that the position of Western powers should not be seen as interference since they did not take arms against the Nigerian state but rather as friends of people of Nigeria who did not want the hard-earned democracy to derail.