- The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation is contributing its own quota to the body knowledge of Nigeria's electoral process
- A new report by the foundation has highlighted key areas for stakeholders to address
- The report reeled out practical ways of eliminating barriers in Nigeria's electoral process
The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the legislature, and other stakeholders within the Nigerian political sphere to work towards eliminating barriers to civic participation in Nigeria.
The organisation in a recent report titled: “Barriers to Civic Participation in Nigeria -Edo and Ondo Election in Context,” noted that Nigeria's elections since 1999 have been dogged by various factors such as violence, institutional weakness, political brigandage, and lawlessness.
Other factors listed by the foundation are the monetization of elections and votes, electoral malpractices, ethnicity, and voter apathy.
These challenges according to the report have impacted the credibility of elections in Nigeria.
The report which was sent to Legit.ng by the foundation on Friday, March 19, recommends that:
“Government should work towards limiting influence on the Electoral Management Body (EMB) and the electoral process by ensuring total independence for the EMB and other agencies involved in the election process.
“EMB should ensure concrete synergy with other stakeholders, especially security agencies, national assembly, and political parties, as a way of building citizens' confidence in the electoral process.
“The legislature should give an adequate legal framework for the improvement in electoral activities.
“The role of other government agencies involved in election matters should be clearly defined and systematized into the law, as a way of preventing arbitrary action or sabotage by some of the agencies.
“EMB should work towards digitalizing the electoral process, especially the voting process.”
The report noted that a flawed and non-credible voting process reflects an ineffective electoral system.
The report further highlighted that the level of voter apathy is an indicator of the level of participation of citizens in the democratic process, submitting that voter apathy constitutes a major crisis of credibility in Nigeria's democratic system.
“The turnout and voter apathy witnessed in the Edo and Ondo states dovetails with national trends since 1999. Aside from the 1999 and 2003 elections, all other elections have seen falling turnout in elections and growing voter apathy.”
Meanwhile, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has called for legislation and policies that could enhance women's participation in politics and decision-making in Nigeria.
The call by the CDD was made by its director, Idayat Hassan, in a statement seen by Legit.ng in commemoration of the 2021 International Women's Day which is celebrated around the globe every March 8.
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In a related development, to mark this year's IWD, millions of Legit.ng readers across the globe celebrated women on social media.
The readers shared photos of women, either mentor, mentees or those they admire with heartwarming words.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.