Thursday, 28.04.2022 - Qualibest Grand Hotel, Abuja

Road To 2023: Can the New Electoral Law Deliver Peaceful and Secure Elections in Nigeria?

It is reasonable to infer that the new Electoral Act is a welcome improvement over the previous version that was abolished. Without a doubt, its adoption has the potential to clean up our dirty political environment, reduce election-related litigation, and establish openness and accountability in electoral processes. However, laws alone do not guarantee peaceful and credible elections.

Following the significant improvement in the guiding processes of the elections as guaranteed by the new Electoral Law, this policy discussion as put together by YouPaD and FES Nigeria, answered these questions: Can this New Electoral Law Deliver Peaceful and Secure Elections in Nigeria? Are there past issues with huge negative consequences on the credibility of the election that the law is silent about? Within the framework of the 2023 elections, can this law alone guarantee a secured process as well as a peaceful outcome?

Participants who were drawn from all works of life openly discussed the challenges of the electoral processes in Nigeria and examine the potential of the new electoral law and its corresponding processes to guarantee peaceful and secured elections in 2023.

Issues surrounding the use and development of technology were also deliberated upon, and INEC was encouraged to embrace hybrid tools already available for data collection in various fields, to transmit results electronically, as they would not be affected by internet unavailability.

Elections may be compared to a relay race, in which one government delivers the baton of leadership to another. In every democratic dispensation, it is the foundation of a legitimate administration. When elections are marred by intimidation, vote-buying, manipulation, forging of ballot papers, ballot box snatching, and other electoral malpractices, the entire process loses credibility, and any government that emerges cannot be called credible.

Hence, it is quintessential that issues around election security are in mainstream discussions ahead of #NigeriaRoadTo2023.

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