By Biodun Busari
An independent civil society organisation, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) says it has been monitoring and observing Nigerian elections from 1999 and prepared to do so with the 2023 general elections.
The chairman of the group, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Politics Hub, a Vanguard Online TV’s political show on Thursday.
Rafsanjani, said TMG was created in 1998 to monitor the transition policies of the former military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar and observed the 1999 elections that ushered in the current democratic dispensation.
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“TMG was formed in 1998 as a major election observer prior the 1999 general elections. It was formed when the military was about to hand over in 1999. Some civil society organisations, largely human rights and advocacy groups came together to form TMG so as to observe General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s transition programme and the 1999 general elections,” Rafsanjani said.
Speaking about the tentacles of the group, Rafsanjani said, “TMG grows its membership across the country. It is about the only organisation in Nigeria that has wide membership strength and it has observed elections from 1999 till date.
“It is non-governmental, non-profit organisation. It is purely a civil society organisation committed to democracy and democratic process in Nigeria to deliver transparent and accountable elections in Nigeria.”
TMG helmsman spoke about the obligations and achievements as he said the group has partnered with media organisations such as Vanguard to safeguard this year’s elections.
He also revealed that TMG enlightened politicians seeking for offices to channel their campaigns on issues. It also participated in getting the report of the Electoral Act for Nigerians.
“We also engage a lot of political parties to engage on issue-based debates and campaigns. We are also working with various media organisations particularly Vanguard to ensure that the 2023 general elections are adequately monitored and covered so that Nigerians will have the feeling of what is going before, on and after the election day.
“TMG also participated in the report of the Electoral Act because it was one of the major decider of this 2023 general elections. We partner with other groups to get the report of the Electoral Act at least to have one person one vote unlike what we use to have before which was rigging.
“It is funded by the members across Nigeria and also financially supported by development groups in the country that associate with what TMG does. We also advocate and mobilise stakeholders that the country experience the change Nigerian wants.
“We receive the support of human right groups and media organisations not only in the country but also outside Nigeria,” Rafsanjani said.
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