The West African Elders Forum 2023 Election Mission to Sierra Leone on Wednesday arrived in Freetown to encourage and support a peaceful democratic transition ahead of the country’s general election scheduled for this weekend, June 24.

This was conveyed in a statement issued by the Communications Officer of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, host of the WAEF, Mr Wealth Ominabo, on Wednesday.

It noted that the former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, is the head of the mission which includes a former Burkinabe prime minister and one-time president of the Economic Community of West African States, Kadre Ouedraogo, and staff from the WAEF secretariat as members.

The statement quoted the head of mission as saying, “The mission urges citizens of Sierra Leone to approach the election with utmost patriotism by prioritizing the nation’s peace and stability and refrain from acts capable of undermining the nation’s democracy.”

It further said, “The team will have a series of consultative engagements with different political actors and key stakeholders in Sierra Leone, including leadership of the political parties, the candidates, the Election Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL), security agencies, the diplomatic community, civil society groups, and the media.

“Since its establishment in 2020, WAEF, an initiative of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, has undertaken missions to different countries in the sub-region, including Gambia and Nigeria, in line with the Forum’s mission of preventive diplomacy to reduce electoral-related tension and violence in West  Africa.