President Muhammadu Buhari has donated half a million dollars, 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, five Hilux vans, and two light trucks to the Government of Guinea-Bissau.
According to a series of tweets on the verified Twitter handle of Presidency Nigeria @NGRPresident, Buhari made the donations in response to an urgent request for assistance by the Government of Guinea-Bissau towards the country’s election.
“The President graciously approved support to the country’s election process, including 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, 5 Hilux vans, two light trucks and US$500,000,” the tweet reads.
Presidency added that Buhari made the donations “In his capacity as Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State,” and had, on Friday morning, directed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to undertake an urgent mission as his Special Envoy to Guinea-Bissau, in the company of ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Brou.
“This vital assistance ensured that legislative elections held in Guinea Bissau, which should help in stabilizing the country,” Presidency added.
It may be recalled that President Mario Vaz visited his Nigerian counterpart last November,and had told State House Correspondents that he was in Nigeria to seek advice from President Buhari concerning the postponement of elections earlier scheduled to hold in his country.
He confessed that he was encouraged by the counselling he received from President Buhari.
Legislative elections were subsequently held in Guinea-Bissau on March 10, 2019, though they had originally been scheduled for November 18, 2018 following an ECOWAS brokered agreement between President José Mário Vaz and the opposition in April 2018.
However, electoral census was not completed until November 20, and Prime Minister Aristides Gomes subsequently proposed various dates of December 16, 30 or January 27 2019 as possible alternatives.
The election date was settled following a presidential decree issued in December 2018, reports say.
The ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde won 47 of the 102 seats and remained the largest party.
Although its loss of 10 seats resulted in a hung parliament, pre-election agreements with the Assembly of the People United (five seats), the New Democracy Party (one seat) and the Union for Change (one seat) gave the PAIGC-led coalition a six-seat majority in the National People’s Assembly.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama will also undertake a mission to Cotonou, Benin Republic, to deliver a personal message to President Patrice Talon from President Buhari, Presidency further said.
“The visit is in the context of the brewing political crisis ahead of April 28, 2019, legislative elections in the country,” it explained.