The story of UNMIL [Book]: Obasanjo visit promotes acceptance of election results
Just two days after the run-off presidential elections, the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, paid a visit to Monrovia as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation.* His objective was to help ensure that all concerned parties accepted the outcome of the 2017 run-off elections without recurring litigation or tensions. Mr. Obasanjo, in his interaction with political stakeholders, encouraged the spirit of conciliation among party leaders and supporters of the candidates. He proposed that the two candidates who contested in the run-off make a public gesture of peace, even before the official results were announced. Vice President Boakai, the runner up, then conceded defeat and congratulated Senator Weah on his victory, prior to the NEC final announcement. Vice President Boakai also called on his constituency “to support peace and join hands by accepting the results in order to continue supporting the country to move
A significant outcome of Mr. Obasanjo’s mission was that both candidates’ parties (the CDC and UP) vowed to eschew violence, to put the interest of the people of Liberia above any political gain, to accept the election result, and to prevent any delay in the swearing in of Liberia’s new President on 22 January, thus avoiding a potential constitutional crisis.
In a speech, Mr. Obasanjo declared that “In this election, Liberia is the true winner.”
*The High-level Advisory Board on Mediation was formed in September 2017 by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to advise him on mediation initiatives and to back specific mediation efforts around the world. Mr. Obasanjo is one of 18 global leaders, senior officials and experts on the board. He was Nigeria’s President from 1999-2007.