He commended and urged the organizers to continue the innovation.
The dispatch says the Summit was initiated by the Save Democracy Group Africa in collaboration with a number of international organizations, including the United Nations, the ECOWAS Commission, and the Nigerian National Assembly, among others.
The theme was “2015 General Election: Consolidating the Gains and Building Positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria”.
Dr. Sawyer, speaking on the topic: “Building Positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Africa—A Case Study of Nigeria,”reviewed the current landscape of African governance, especially with respect to electoral democracy.
He emphasized how pivotal the Nigerian 2015 election was in bringing Nigerians from the brink of what some thought would have been a disaster.
He, however, acknowledged the economic and security challenges as difficulties associated with building positive political culture of sustainable democracy.
“Those security challenges are common to all of us in the sub-region. But under Nigeria’s leadership, we can make some progress,” he stated.
He noted that basically, the “Nigerian leadership is strong and getting stronger,” adding, “All of us in the West African sub-region are partners with Nigeria in moving the sub-region forward.”
He also noted that Liberia has extensively enjoyed Nigeria’s material and human support.
In his welcome address, Dr. IfediOkwenna, Director General of the Save Democracy Group Africa, said the decision to institute the Summit as an annual event is based on the landmark successes of the 2015 Nigeria General Election.
The Nigerian election was generally accepted to have against all predictions brought peace and stability to Nigeria and elevated the country’s prestige and international recognition and acceptance among democratic nations.
In a related development, the Abuja dispatch says Dr. Sawyer is recommending that Liberia holds such a political summit before heading to elections in 2017.
“It’s a very good idea, an idea I think we should also take a look at in Liberia. The idea is about bringing together the leaders of the political spectrum, civil society leaders and the entire leadership of the country to discuss about the course of events, the common challenges and the way forward”, he said in an interview conducted at the Liberian Embassy.
Dr. Sawyer was accompanied to the three-day summit held from January 25-27 by Liberia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh.