From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Transition Monitoring Group has announced the election of Auwal Musa Rafsanjani as the new Chairman of its Board.
Rafsanjani, Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, succeeded Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, who stepped down having served the required maximum four years single-term in office.
Other members elected into the Board included Mirian Menkiti (Vice Chair), Tijani Abdulkareem (Treasurer), Ekaete Judith Umoh (representing persons with disabilities), Tayo Akinpelu (representing the youth) and Dr. Abdu-Azis Bako, (North Central).
Others were Sylvester Okoduwa (South South Coordinator), Dr. Joseph Gimba (North East), Adesina Adefolahan (South West), Gabriel Odom (South East) and Hajia Fatima Mohammed Umar (North West).
A statement issued on Friday by the outgoing chairman of TMG, Dr Akiyode-Afolabi for and on behalf of the organisation said he was elected alongside other Board members at the Annual General meeting of TMG that took place on Thursday August 26 at Zeus Hotel, Mabushi – Abuja.
Earlier in the day, the AGM kick started with an Electoral Summit with the theme: The Future of Nigeria Election; The Way Forward. The Summit looked at various issues that can improve or impede elections in Nigeria with focus on electoral security, internal party democracy, electronic voting and the impact of election litigation on the integrity of our electoral process.
Rafsanjani, who is also the Head of Transparency International (Nigeria) and the chairman of AI’s Board of Trustees, would steer the affairs of the flagship election observation coalition in the country for the next four years.
He is known for his consistent engagement of the polity in the last two decades pushing for sustainable reforms that will bring lasting solutions to Nigerian many crisis.
Akiyode-Afolabi said, “As the flagship of election observation in Nigeria, TMG played a pivotal role in ensuring civic participation by mobilizing citizens during the Nigeria’s transition program conducted by the then Military regime of General Abdusalami Abubakar (retd.), between 1998 and 1999.
“Since then, TMG has consistently engaged the electoral process in ensuring transparency, accountability and credibility of the process by sensitizing and observing every strand of election in Nigeria.”
While delivering his acceptance speech, Rafsanjani thanked the outgoing Board and promised to add to some of the achievements made by his predecessor.
Outlining his key agenda as the Chairman of the Board, he promised to carry along members by running an all inclusive organization, rebuilding partnership with stakeholders especially with the donor community as well as other relevant agencies in the development sector.
According to him, the new leadership will make all necessary efforts to bring together all members in order to work as a team toward moving the organization forward and mobilize citizens to demand for accountability in order to choose the right leaders as we match toward the 2023 general election.
The new Board pledged to uphold an already established goodwill and sustained relationship the group presently enjoys with the media.
Rafsanjani thanked the members of the coalition for their steadfastness and noted that in the spirit of accountability, the new Board will resuscitate the TMG Newsletter, ‘Democracy Watch’ so as to maintain constant communication with the members on the activities of the group.
He praised the effort of the outgoing leadership for the good work they did to keep the organization relevant.