A CLARION CALL TO VOTE IN SUPPORT OF CITIZENS TOP 10 PRIORITIES ON ELECTORAL AMENDMENT
The National Assembly through its Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters called a public hearing on the Bill for ‘An Act to Repeal the Electoral Act No 6, 2010 (As Amended) and Enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act 2020’ on 9th December 2020. The public hearing provided citizens with a platform to outline their demands and make inputs into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The public hearing was another testament to the 9th National Assembly’s commitments towards reforming the nation’s electoral system and process and ensuring that a new citizen-responsive Electoral Act is activated in a considerably good time.
We recognize and deeply appreciate your tireless efforts and that of every member of the National Assembly, particularly all members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters in ensuring a new Electoral Act is delivered to Nigerians in the first quarter of 2021. These genuine efforts and partnership with citizens’ have culminated into various wide-ranging recommendations, amongst which are certain priorities that truly respond to our aspirations as a people working to build our electoral democracy. These Citizen’s top 10 Priorities on the Electoral Act Amendment are highlighted in the document attached. These priorities include:
- Strengthen the financial Independence of the Commission
- Publication of polling unit level results by INEC
- Protecting the voting rights of Visually impaired and Incapacitated Voters
- Cost of Nomination of Candidates
- Promoting the inclusion of women, youth, and persons living with disability in politics
- Legitimize the use of technology in the electoral process through electronic accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic collation and transmission of results
- Stiffer Sanctions for Electoral Offences
- Regulation of the Conduct of Security Personnel on Election Duty
- Early voting for Nigerians on essential election duty
- Voting Rights for Nigerians in Diaspora
These outlined priority areas are consistent with the tenets of good governance and democratic consolidation and provide Nigerian citizens, especially young people, women and people living with disabilities, with the needed confidence in trusting our electoral outcome. Adopting these priorities will elevate Nigeria’s standing globally amongst other nations using the instrumentality of the Law to build their electoral democracy and achieve stability and peace.
We, therefore, urge you to become a reference point for genuine change, through your support of these citizen’s priorities, by ensuring its reflectiveness in the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill.
Posterity will reckon with you as we work together to reform our Electoral Act for an electoral process that guarantees credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria.
Please be assured of our solidarity and support in our joint quest for the democratic consolidation and development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Director of Programs
Centre for Citizens with Disability
Center for Liberty
Institute for Media and Society
International Press Centre
Nigeria Women’s Trust Fund
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism
Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa
Raising New Voices