Anambra: Nigerian government must tackle insecurity to prevent poor turnout in 2023 – Civic Group, CDD

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The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has released its post-election analysis report on the just concluded Anambra State election, describing the exercise as “satisfactory”.

In the report released on Friday and signed by its Director, Idayat Hassan, CDD said though there were pockets of logistic challenge and technical glitches, these didn’t impact on the overall outcome of the result and the credibility of the process.

Admitting that the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) did malfunction during the Saturday election and later picked in the supplementary election on Tuesday in the Ihiala Local Government Area, the group said it was important for INEC to swiftly address the hiccups with the device, strengthen the infrastructure supporting the system, and further expose its staffs to improved technical training.

CDD urged the electoral umpire and other stakeholders to do all within their power to avoid inconclusive elections as it dampens confidence in the transparency and credibility of elections.

According to the centre, it was equally important for INEC to improve the pace of transmission of election results to IREV (INEC Result Viewing) Portal to assure stakeholders of the integrity of the process.

“We (CDD) call on the Federal Government to take urgent measures to address worsening insecurity in the build-up to the 2023 elections, as this has clear implications on voter turnout.

“We urge INEC to review its current logistics strategy and hire private logistics companies who can be held accountable in case of a breach. We are also calling on all the stakeholders to address the challenge of election-related fake news and disinformation ahead of subsequent elections. We also support continuing efforts to engage citizens about the merits of not selling their votes to political actors,” the report read in part.

Applauding the Civil Society Organisations for their roles in the election, CDD said CSOs should also develop a specific voter education program to counter vote-buying in election, undertake civic education programs to attract more people to participate in elections and hold the government to account.

The centre also said there was need for more investment of financial resources and time in tackling electoral disinformation, increase election monitoring capacity, and continuous adoption of diverse and non-violent tactics to increase pressure on the government to deliver good governance.

The report called on the political actors to intensify efforts to getting President Muhammadu Buhari assent the Electoral act amendment bill 2021.

“It’s important also for the politicians to regulate the role of money in politics to retain trust in the democratic system; increase election monitoring capability; engage in voter education to increase turnout; and as part of promoting democratic accountability and presenting themselves as an alternation, Opposition parties are encouraged to monitor the activities of the elected; opposition could even present itself as a unified front working as a democratic opposition to monitor incumbents.

“CDD urged the diplomatic communities to help impose sanctions on erring political actors and government officials who impugn the integrity of elections in the country, and “ fund civil society work in elections as a circle, not as a process.”

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