Abuja, Nigeria — A delegation of election observers from IRI departed today for locations across Nigeria to monitor Saturday’s national assembly elections.

Kenneth L. Brown, a former U.S. Ambassador to the Côte d’Ivoire, Congo and Ghana, will head a delegation of 20 certified observers consisting of elections officials, political campaign veterans and international development and democracy experts, including IRI President George Folsom.  The IRI teams will deploy to the states of Katsina, Kogi, Imo, Gombe, Cross Rivers, Abuja and Lagos to observe election procedures and facilities.  An IRI team will also observe Nigeria’s presidential election on April 19.

“The International Republican Institute is excited and honored to be a part of such an important historic moment for Nigeria,” said Ambassador Brown.  “We intend to conduct an objective, complete and scrupulous observation of this election.”

IRI in Nigeria
IRI has been active in Nigeria since 1998, training political parties in grassroots political skills, conflict resolution, communications and women’s participation.  For Nigeria’s 2003 elections IRI produced a widely distributed illustrated handbook to help polling agents from the political parties monitor the voting procedures.
IRI in Africa
In December 2002, IRI election observers also oversaw the Kenyan presidential election.  IRI is currently involved in several African countries including Angola, Kenya, Liberia, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
About Ambassador Brown
Ambassador Brown is currently president of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training in Washington, DC, and consultant to the U.S. government on West Africa.  Over a 34-year career as a professional Foreign Service Officer, Brown also served as Consul General in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.
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