In your lifetime, which Nigerian election (national, state or local) would you adjudge as the most credible and most organized so far?
That was the opening question at the 4th Agora by YouPaD policy discussion, supported by FES Nigeria, which was organized yesterday, 6 october 2021 in Abuja.
The Intergenerational policy discussion brought together over 50 young professionals and experts in the development space, the private sector and public service, and discussed the capability of the Nigeria's current electoral processes to deliver accountable and transformative leaders.
Nigeria’s elections have witnessed inadequate improvements for a growing democracy in the face of electoral fraud, violence, voter inducement, intimidation, bribery and corruption, and the electoral process has become a shadow of itself and inspires very little hope and confidence for the future. The challenges have also undermined the country’s democratic credentials among the comity of nations. Elections remain the most fundamental aspect of democracy across the world, its evolution and improvement can only be measured in terms of processes, procedures, technology, and outcome.
The Electoral Act Amendment has been a contentious issue at the National Assembly for several months. The most recent been concerns about the clauses in the Electoral Act that were eventually passed, but not yet assented by the President. There were a lot of controversy surrounding some provisions proposed in the bill particularly the issue of electronic transmission of results.
CSOs and Nigerians have continued to speak on why the reforms are necessary to deepen democratic processes, promote transparency and accountability which will in turn increase citizen confidence in the electoral umpire.
The forum agreed that elections, credible elections for that matter, are roadblocks to a strong democracy in Nigeria at all levels of government; and that Conflict triggered by political competition and communal, ethnic, religious or resource allocation rivalries, continues to pose a major threat to democracy.
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