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04 Aug
0

Edo Decides 2020: Yiaga Africa Parleys Media for Credible, Peaceful Election

As part of activities marking the pre-election engagement, Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote (WTV) project interacted with the media cohort in Edo state, building collaboration on amplifying accurate and timely information before, during and after the Edo Governorship election. The media roundtable held in Benin, Edo state capital, saw the full representatives of broadcast and print media with the Chairman of the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) committing to partnering Yiaga Africa in sensitizing, educating, and enlightening the citizens of the state on the need for a credible and peaceful election.

During the discussion, Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, said Yiaga Africa’s election team is a citizen’s movement committed to the credible election in a bid to increase citizens’ participation in the process. She also solicited support from journalists in sensitizing and enlightening members of the public on the need for a violence-free election in the Edo State governorship election. She said media partnership would provide accurate information to the electorate in a bid to achieve credible election in the state.

On his part, Programme Manager, Elections, Paul James, said it’s Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT); which is a proven election day observation methodology will help detect and deter fraud while providing timely information on the election process. According to him, the PVT will enable Yiaga Africa to verify the accuracy of the election results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Election program manager Paul James discussing PVT during media parley in Edo

Mr. Paul James also revealed that Yiaga Africa has trained 24 Long Term Observers from across all 18 Local Government Areas in Edo state who will be observing and reporting the pre-election environment to enable dissemination of accurate information to election stakeholders before the election. According to him, the team will also train 500 personnel to be sent to sample the various polling units on Election Day.

James said, “For the Edo State governorship election, #WatchingTheVote will deploy observers in pairs to a representative random sample of 250 polling units in every LGA. A total number of 500 WTV polling unit observers will be deployed to observe the accreditation, voting and counting processes on Election Day.” He said they will use their mobile phones to send coded text messages of observation reports to Yiaga Africa’s WTV Data Centre in Benin

In his response, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State chapter, Roland Osakue, pledged to collaborate with Yiaga Africa, in curbing election violence and encouraging citizens to protect their votes.

He said, “If elections must be free and fair the rules must be adhered to. The umpire must not be biased and the players must play by the rules are not compromised, the election will be violent free”.

Roland Osakwe, Edo NUJ chairman speaking during media parley

According to him, “election is not a do or die affair, the supporters of these politicians have taken it to a point that they must get it at all times and most of the people they use are youths. Youths have become tools especially when they are induced financially.”

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28 Jul
0

Our Contract with Nigerians : House of Representatives Legislative Agenda for 2020-2023

The 9th House of Representatives assumed office at a time of rapid, inexorable change in our country and around the world. The speed and pace of change have not abated since we first swore the oath of office, and it is unlikely that it would. We do not have the luxury of proposing overseeing over a system of slow, incremental change. The people who have sent us to represent them do not expect and will not accept proposals that seek to maintain the status quo. We are, therefore, called to a mission of radical change, of impossible things made possible. We have a responsibility to build a nation where the best dreams and highest aspirations of all our people are within reach.

Last year, the House of Representatives pledged to pursue a Legislative Agenda that was explicit in its commitment to champion social justice, promote individual aspiration, provide public services and infrastructure and finally support business, innovation, and private enterprise. We were making good progress in fulfilling the promises we made in that Agenda when the world changed. The novel and deadly Coronavirus emerged and expose most cruelly, long-ignored weaknesses in our economy, our systems of public governance, education, security, social justice and
social welfare, and so much else.

The last few months have made clear, that we have to move faster and farther than we had previously thought, or else we may well be the generation that answers to history for superintending over the final and systemic collapse of this our beloved nation. The kind of fundamental change we need begins with a wholesale reimagining of the structures and assumptions that have long underpinned much of our existence as a country. We have too long accepted that certain things cannot be changed, or that the process of change is too hard or too disruptive. We are now deeply mired in the consequences of this choice, in the unfulfilled promises and failures of our system that limit our ability to reach for the stars and threaten our continued existence as a nation.

The updated Legislative Agenda of the 9th House of Representatives is our response to this new reality. We have in this new document, renewed the commitments we made in our first year, but this time with accelerated timelines for implementation, key performance indices to measure performance and clearly identified actions in the immediate to long term. What we now have, is a contract with the Nigerian people, against which all our efforts will be measured, and from which we must not fall short as our nation battles to emerge stronger in the wake of the devastating
impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

I thank all of the Nigerian people for the support and encouragement we have thus far received, and I ask for more of the same as we work together in the joint task of nation-building. And may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Federal Republic of Nigeria

Download Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives for 2020-2023 

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25 Jul
0

Edo Elections: Yiaga Africa, Partners Police for Peaceful Polls

Ahead of the Edo State Governorship elections, Yiaga Africa is set to commence the observation of the pre-election environment including violence monitoring to provide information and recommendation for immediate response by the election stakeholders.

This formed major the crux of the discussion during the advocacy visit by the Board and Management of Yiaga Africa’s Watching The Vote project to the Edo State Commissioner of Police Mr Babatunde Johnson Kokuko (mni), on Friday, July 24 2020. The mission led by a member of the Watching The Vote working group,  Ezenwa Nwagu and Director of Program, Cynthia Mbamalu, provided an opportunity to explore areas of collaboration in a bid to ensure peaceful elections in Edo state come September 19.

Speaking during the meeting Ezenwa Nwagwu reiterated the fact that the security holds a very strategic position in the election stakeholders pyramid and it is important the police as the lead security agency for elections should be aware of activities of election observers. This according to him underscores Friday’s advocacy visit in other to share Yiaga Africa’s election observation deployment plan.

Also speaking during the meeting, Director of Programs said, Yiaga Africa, will train and deploy Long Term Observers across all 18 Local Government Areas in Edo state. According to her, the observers will be observing the pre-election observers which include activities of the electoral commission, political party campaigns, voter information/education campaigns, adherence to COVID-19 guidelines and importantly, violence monitoring. The information received from observers across the state especially in violence monitoring will be escalated to security agencies for a response to prevent violence ahead of the elections, she said.

In his reaction, Commissioner of Police (CP) Mr Kokumo lauded Yiaga Africa’s initiative saying “what Yiaga Africa stands for and set out to do is laudable and I commend your organisation in this regard”.  He said the command is open to partnering to promote peaceful election in the state. The CP also assured the cooperation of the officers in the Local Government Areas towards a hitch-free observer deployment and during the distribution of observer kits.

He further reiterated the Police commitment to discharge its statutory responsibility of protecting lives and properties. “We will be proactive and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure level playing ground for all candidates irrespective of political party affiliation”, he said.

For the Edo Governorship elections, the CP said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) is complementing the effort of the state government by sending eight-speed boats to secure the waterways. “We have coastal and riverine communities cutting across six Local Government Areas. We will be commissioning four-armed boats and four-speed boats”, he said.

He said the police will also be having air wing for aerial surveillance to track criminals hibernating in the forest saying all these security measures will be out in place, before, during and after the Governorship elections in the state.

According to the CP Kokumo, the state police command will be receiving technical support from other states to ensure the election is held in a secured environment while also ensuring all COVID-19 protocols are observed to the later. “To enable us to achieve this, we will have series of training, workshops and seminars with INEC and other security agencies and we will also conduct step down training for other officers of the force that will be involved in the elections”, he concluded.

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17 Jul
0

July 17th : No Corruption Day – All You Need To Know

On the 17th July 2020, tagged  #NoCorruptionDay, we are joined by dedicated citizens; the likes of MI Abaga, Alex Ekubo, Osas Igodaro, Lillian Esoro, Jeff Bankz & others – who are willing to use their platforms to share this powerful message and also supported by organizations such as SERAP (Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, Accountability Lab, Ukaid and Yiaga Africa. We have activities centered around #NoCorruptionDay geared towards tackling corruption through mindset reorientation.

In 2019, SERAP undertook a survey to assess & highlight key behavioral and belief patterns about corruption across Nigeria. The survey birthed the Anti-Corruption Social Norms Report.

This report found that 40% of respondents do not believe in the possibility of successfully ending corruption in Nigeria. 43.3 % do not believe they have a role to play in the change dings lend credence to the idea that corruption has become a Nigerian norm. 71% of research respondents were found to depend on the internet and Social media to reset social norms and get information so naturally, these media became the avenues to prioritize to help policy makers and Anti-corruption agencies effectively reach Nigerians.

  • Marking #NOCORRUPTIONDAY on the 17th of July would be the final lap of a sensitization journey. The journey that will begin about 10 days before will involve a quiz that highlights the role individuals play in perpetuating corruption, a tick-off list of corrupt practices we may unconsciously engage in daily & a breakdown of relevant aspects of the report that could reshape the thinking of the average Nigerian. (more…)

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10 Jul
0

Guidelines for Conducting Elections During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Nigeria – NCDC

In response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Nigeria has introduced several public health and social measures (PHSM). These include the restriction of mass gatherings, closure of schools, inter-state movement restrictions, mandating the wearing of face masks and requirements for physical distancing. However, as the pandemic continues, countries have eased lockdowns and relaxed restrictions in phases.

This is to enable the continuation of economic activities and provide people with a means of maintaining their livelihood. Despite the pandemic, there is a continuity of essential processes, such as elections, in some countries. In some settings where elections have been conducted without due consideration for public health measures particularly physical distancing, there has been an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has developed this guideline for election processes in Nigeria, in the context of COVID-19. This is to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 cases during elections.

DOWNLOAD FULL GUIDELINE BELOW

Guidelines for Amidst COVID-19  Nigeria

 

 

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07 Jul
0

Job Opportunity for IT Manager at Yiaga Africa

Job Title: Information Technology Manager
Location: Abuja
Type of Appointment: Full Time
Reporting Line: Executive Director
Closing Date: July 21, 2020

 

Yiaga Africa is searching for a highly skilled IT manager with experience in front and back end programming, digital security and IT policy design and implementation. The IT manager will be responsible for developing and designing front end web architecture, ensuring the responsiveness of applications and working alongside a graphic design team for web design features, among other managerial duties. The IT manager will be required to see out a project from conception to final product, requiring good organizational skills and attention to detail.

Job Description

  • Be the custodian of the organization’s IT policy and see to its full implementation
  • Manage and coordinate all IT-related issues including internet data, wireless communications, mobile technology, telephony, security, and computer hardware and software
  • Trouble-shoot and solve problems related to hardware, software, and network
  • Monitor network utilization and implement procedures for network optimization, reliability, and availability
  • Maintains organization’s effectiveness and efficiency by defining and delivering strategic plans for implementing information technologies.
  • Directs technological research by studying organization goals, strategies, practices, and user projects.
  • Verifies application results by conducting system audits of technologies implemented.
  • Contribute to the overall operations and delivery of the organization as a key Management staff.
  • Coordinate and supervise the IT department.

Qualifications

  • Minimum of 10 years working experience as an IT Manager or relevant experience in similar field
  • Proven experience leading and managing large IT projects and rolling out IT infrastructures across various technologies.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills.
  • Proficiency with fundamental front-end languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Familiarity with JavaScript frameworks such as Angular JS, React, Amber and Ionic
  • Proficiency with server-side languages such as Python, Ruby, Java, PHP and .Net.
  • Familiarity with database technology such as MySQL, Oracle, Django, PostgreSQL and MongoDB.
  • Excellent verbal communication and interpersonal skills
  • Good problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to multitask and manage multiple projects within tight deadlines.
  • Excellent analytical and strategic thinking skills
  • Microsoft Systems Administration/System Engineer certification will be an asset

How to Apply

Interest candidates should forward a one-page cover letter and detailed resume as attached PDF documents to recruitment@yiaga.org on or before July 21, 2020. The subject line of the email application must state the Name of Applicant and title of the position. Only applications sent in the required format will be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Yiaga Africa is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability, gender, tribe, religion, etc. Qualified women are encouraged to apply.

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07 Jul
0

Job Opportunity for Communications Manager at Yiaga Africa

Job Title: Communications Manager
Location: Abuja
Type of Appointment: Full Time
Reporting Line: Executive Director
Closing Date: July 21, 2020

Yiaga Africa is in search of a self-motivated and experienced communications specialist to join our dynamic team. The Communications Manager will take the lead in designing and implementing the Yiaga Africa communication strategy across diverse program themes and audiences. This entails managing, monitoring, and evaluating corporate communications and dissemination of knowledge products. Specifically, the Communication Manager will lead on content development, editorial responsibility, public engagement, and media monitoring. The Communication Manager will lead a team and be responsible for initiating innovative communication initiatives for public outreach.

Job description

  • Effectively communicate the organization’s vision, mission and brand identity
  • Lead on content management for corporate communications, digital media, websites, newsletters, and other communication tools
  • Develop, implement, and supervise internal and external communication programs
  • Develop and manage relationships with media organizations and partners to secure and grow media online and offline coverage.
  • Responsible for editorial direction, design, production, and distribution of all publications and media productions.
  • Contribute to the overall operations and delivery of the organization as a key Management staff
  • Lead a communications team in the design and implementation of a communication strategy and communication plan
  • Initiate and execute communication research and media monitoring

Qualifications

  • Postgraduate degree in communications, journalism, public relations, digital media or related field
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience and at least five (5) years in a managerial role
  • Proven experience in leading effective communication teams, impact storytelling and development journalism
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Outstanding knowledge of best practices in communication and branding
  • Advanced knowledge and experience in social media marketing and engagement
  • Highly experienced in communication research/planning and analytics/measurement of data.
  • Ability to multitask and manage multiple projects within tight deadlines.
  • Excellent leadership, organizational and project management skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • Excellent analytical and strategic thinking skills

How to Apply
Interest candidates should forward a one-page cover letter and detailed resume as attached PDF documents to recruitment@yiaga.org on or before July 21, 2020. The subject line of the email application must state the Name of Applicant and title of the position. Only applications sent in the required format will be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Yiaga Africa is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of disability, gender, tribe, religion, etc. Qualified women are encouraged to apply.

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06 Jul
0

FixElectionsNG: Electoral Reform as a Huge Step to Citizens Political Participation – Moshood Isah 

The steady decline in voter turnout in Nigeria remains a cause for concern and calls to question the nation’s 21 years of uninterrupted democracy. After six circles of general elections, citizens are yet to trust the electoral system enough to participate in it. This is rightly so because the system is yet to inspire citizens’ confidence, and this calls for urgent need to fix Nigeria’s election before the whole process becomes a mere transition ceremony.

Recent activities around electoral reform show that all but the major suspects are committed to electoral reform in Nigeria. During a recent citizens town hall on electoral reform, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made a commitment that the commission will employ electronic balloting during the Anambra Governorship election coming up next year. This is however subject to assent to the electoral amendment act currently with the National Assembly.

It is also heartwarming to know that the National assembly committee on election matters has set December for the finalization and transmission of the electoral amendment bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent. The Attorney General of the federation Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) has also promised Nigeria that the President will certainly assent to the electoral act provided the act does not breach the constitution.

With barely 31 months to the 2023 general elections, there is no gainsaying that challenges of Nigeria’s electoral process are rife, and it requires leadership and decisive actions from diverse stakeholders to fix. There have been a series of efforts on electoral reforms by the National Assembly and Civil society groups have also proposed amendments to the electoral legal framework. These proposals are contained in numerous election observation reports. Achieving these proposals requires a mindset shift in conceptualizing electoral reforms, facilitating a consensus among key political actors, and building on a consultative process to aggregate the needs and preferences of society.

The question always revolves around the willingness of politicians and the political will of the executive to approve the much-needed revolution in our electoral system. There is also an unending question about the neutrality of security agencies during elections as seen in previous elections where security is used for personal advantage against the will of the people. Various election fora have revealed that politicians are always taking steps ahead of the electoral commission in undermining the electoral process. Also, with the security personnel up for grabs, it becomes even easier to manipulate security apparatus as the nation has witnessed in recent times.

Recall that 3 months before the 2019 general elections, the electoral law was up for Presidential assent, but the president declined. In a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly, President Buhari said passing a new bill with elections close by could ‘create some uncertainty about the legislation to govern the process.’

A very much reviewed electoral act will address pertinent issues that will go a long way in improving Nigeria’s elections. For instance, the establishment of an electoral offense body will ensure electoral offenders get prosecuted accordingly. While INEC has the responsibility to prosecute offenders, the commission lacks the technical capacity to achieve that important aspect of elections. This has made it easy for politicians to exploit these gaps to perpetrate violence during elections while going scot-free. But with a much-reviewed electoral act passed into law, electoral offenders including politicians who have monetized the entire electoral process will not go unpunished.

An electoral amendment at this point will not only inspire citizens’ confidence in the electoral process but also go a long way in addressing political party bottlenecks, especially as regards the cost of nomination forms.

Beyond the politicians, the most important stakeholders in the process are the citizens whose votes are expected to decide the winner of elections. It is entirely difficult or impossible to convince citizens to go through the rigors of registration and voting if they are certain their votes will not count. Therefore, taking citizens’ opinion into cognizance when making electoral decisions remain imperative.

The massive participation of Nigerians in the recent “Fix Elections” video campaign on how to fix elections in Nigeria reveals that Nigerians are indeed interested in the electoral process. However, there is a need to push the envelope in ensuring the process is seamless and credible. The good news is that an amendment of the electoral act at this point will not just legalize electronic accreditation using smartcard reader only, but also provide the opportunity for electronic transmission.

These will enable the commission to overcome certain logistic challenges and issues of miscalculation of numbers that were experienced in recent elections. As a matter of fact, electronic transmission of election results would have prevented some of the controversial supreme court judgment.

While indeed we cannot legislate the “do or die” attitude of political actors like the INEC chairman recently said, effective implementation of important electoral laws will go a long way in curtailing electoral excesses in Nigeria. With Nigeria experiencing its 21 years of uninterrupted democracy, the least the nation need is an election that can withstand every test of credibility. Thus, all stakeholders must make a concerted effort in inspiring citizens’ confidence through a sincere electoral reform.

Moshood Isah is a communication expert and credible election advocate.

He is the media officer of Yiaga Africa

Twitter: @Moshoodpm 

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02 Jul
0

#FixElectionsNG: E-Balloting, Prosecution of electoral offenders, Security, Inclusion Paramount to Electoral Reform – Stakeholders

With barely 31 months to the 2023 general elections, the challenges of Nigeria’s electoral process are enormous, and it requires leadership and decisive actions from diverse stakeholders to fix. There has been series of effort to on electoral reforms by the National Assembly and Civil society groups have also proposed amendments to the electoral legal framework. These proposals are contained in numerous election observation reports. Achieving these proposals require a mindset shift in conceptualizing electoral reforms, facilitating a consensus among key political actors and building on a consultative process to aggregate the needs and preferences of society.

It is against this background that Yiaga Africa and its partners hosted the Citizens town hall on electoral reform to address the declining quality of elections and loss of faith in the democratic institutions due to impunity, exclusion and unbridled corruption. If the electoral process is reformed, it will improve the quality of public leadership and governance at all levels and also increase public trust in democracy and democratic institutions.

The town hall provided an opportunity for critical stakeholders to build consensus on electoral reform priorities. Speakers at the townhall include the Chairman of  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu; attorney general of the federation and minister of Justice Abubakar Malami; Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah; Mike Ozekhome (SAN), minister of State for Niger Delta,Festus Keyamo (SAN), amongst other Civil Society actors.

Amongst resolution that emerged during the town hall include the establishment of an electoral offences body as stakeholders came out strongly on the need to punish perpetrators of violence and violators of electoral laws. Other issues raised include, cost of elections, use of technology and managing political actors.

Speaking at the event, INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, stressed that it is imperative to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission. According to him, this will improve the quality of elections in the country, noting that the nation’s policy on persons who undermine the election needs to be clearly spelt out. He said, “any nation that does not punish electoral offenses is doomed”, saying electoral offenders are becoming more brazen because they are not effectively prosecuted. He stated that though it was the responsibility of INEC to prosecute electoral offenders, the electoral body does not have the capacity to do that because it lacks the capacity to carry out proper investigation.

He decried that fact that, “once an election cycle ends, politicians would devise means of undermining subsequent elections. So, instead of consolidating on the gains of one election, we are always experimenting new ideas to ensure that those who have perfected the art of undermining INEC’s efforts do not succeed.”

On the cost of running elections, the INEC chairman lamented that the commission has been dragged to court over 2000 times, adding „most times we need to hire lawyers. “He said, ‘’Some of the cases are not intended by people who filed them, but we have to hire lawyers. Elections are expensive because we also conduct bye-elections including senatorial elections. We have six senatorial district elections to conduct and we continue to spend on these elections, he said.

Prof. Yakubu however called for attitudinal change which he said cannot be legislated   saying, if politicians continue with the attitude of cutting corners and encouraging thuggery during election, no amount of electoral reform would guarantee free, fair and credible election.

Speaking on the controversy surrounding the assent to the electoral act, Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami said President Muhammadu Buhari will certainly assent to the electoral act provided there are no breaches against the constitution.  While describing the electoral process as a system that is evolving positively, Malami said there is room for more improvement.

He said, ‘’as at 1999, the system was unpredictable and very chaotic which is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Pre-election matters in 1999 can be in court for seven to 10 years. At the moment there are legal frameworks on the conduct of electoral matters. ‘’We understand the need for cooperation between the judiciary, legislature, and the executive and we will continue to stress this,’’ he added.

He said the current administration is collectively trying, as much possible, to enhance the quality of the system by way of empowering INEC, building capacity and ensuring that sanity, accountability are brought to bear through legal framework, judicial intervention or executive intervention.

Speaking of political inclusion of women in political process, entertainer, Omoni Oboli decried the marginalization of women in what she described as the country’s “dirty politics” characterized by violence. According to her, “Women have been greatly marginalized. It’s very disappointing that even till now, we don’t want women in key elective positions. They’re mostly appointed into offices not elected,” she said.

“And when it comes to financing for instance, a lot of women won’t even bother to come out because they know they don’t have what it takes to pull through. Most of the people that are financing politics are men and they are pretty much going to finance people that they think would win. So, these are the problems women are facing when it comes to politics.

According to her, “If we ensure that our electoral processes are free, fair, inclusive and save, more women would come, more of them would want to get into politics.”  Reechoing this thought, Chief Executive Officer of Women Trust Fund, Mufuliat Fijabi further reiterated the need for an electoral reform that is inclusive of women. She said, often times we only look at credibility and fairness of elections, but we don’t look that the inclusion part of the it, especially the inclusion of women.

On the marginalization of People Living with Disability, Cobhams Asuquo, Nigeran-born songwriter said the electoral system has been designed in such a way that a lot of people with disabilities have not been able to exercise their civic responsibilities. He said this is a major concern because going through the electoral act, you’ll discover where people living with disabilities are mentioned but it is at best not inclusive.

Senior Lawyers and  Civil Society actors also wade into the discussion calling on electronic ballot system, internal party democracy and prosecution of electoral offenders. For instance, a senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said INEC ought to be independent in line with Section 153 of the constitution just as he noted that electoral offenders should be barred for contesting an election for a period of 10 years or above to serve as a deterrent to others.

Benson Oluguo, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation also raised concerns about the rising cases of electoral violence saying, in raising politicians remain key drivers of violence during elections.  Also, Chair, partners for electoral reform, Ezenwa Nwagwu who decried what he described as the hijacking of political parties where elected organs within political parties have not been allowed to function effectively. He said, activities of political parties have become transactional saying, those who intend to run must pay huge sums of money, & the delegate system is compromised as well. “The Executive eventually take partial ownership of the running of party conventions. This gives a leeway for the entire process to be anything but independent”, he said.

Other speakers include, Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria, Yemi Adamolekun who also reechoed the need to introduce technology in Nigeria’s election. Idayat Hassan of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Akin Akingbolu of the International Press Centre amongst others further helped pushed the envelope on electoral reform in Nigeria.

 

Watch Full Video Below

Citizens TownHall on Electoral Reform 

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29 Jun
0

2023 Elections: Citizens and electoral stakeholders set agenda for electoral reforms

On Tuesday, June 30, 2020, civil society groups will host a Live TV and virtual citizens’ townhall on electoral reforms. The townhall is an opportunity for stakeholders to build national consensus on priority issues for electoral reforms through an inclusive and collaborative process. The townhall is hosted by Yiaga Africa and its partners with support from the European Union. The program will broadcast live on Channels Television (DSTV channel 254 and GOTV channel 95) and Radio Nigeria network service on June 30, 2020 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.
As Nigeria continues its efforts to entrench democracy, the threats to democratic consolidation have become more insidious resulting in a sharp decline in electoral integrity. Since the 2019 general elections, every off-cycle election conducted by the electoral commission reinforces the fragility of Nigeria’s political system and the imperative of electoral reforms. These reforms if undertaken will improve the quality of public leadership and governance at all levels and also increase public trust in democracy and democratic institutions. This is why Yiaga Africa and its partners believe any meaningful reform should address five key agenda namely; strengthen democratic institutions like INEC, political parties, judiciary; guarantee electoral justice; reform political behavior and practice; sanitize the candidates’ nomination process and lastly, protect the integrity of the process.

The National Assembly began the process of amending the electoral legal framework by introducing bills to amend relevant sections of the Constitution and Electoral Act. In March 2020, the electoral commission released its electoral reform agenda containing over 30 proposed amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act. The agenda contains key priorities for reforms which include; strengthening the financial autonomy of the electoral commission; conferring INEC with the power and conditions for suspending elections; new timelines for campaigns and candidate nomination; disqualification of unqualified candidates; review of election results declared under duress or made contrary to electoral guidelines; diaspora voting; electronic accreditation of voters, improved oversight on political parties amongst others. Civil society groups have also proposed amendments to the electoral legal framework. These proposals are contained in numerous election observation reports. Achieving these proposals require a mindset shift in conceptualizing electoral reforms, facilitating a consensus among key political actors and building on a consultative process to aggregate the needs and preferences of society.

It is against this background that Yiaga Africa and its partners are hosting this live TV and virtual town-hall to promote a national conversation on electoral reforms as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections. The town hall is an opportunity for critical stakeholders to build consensus on electoral reform priorities. Speakers will be drawn from INEC, National Assembly, Political Parties, Security Agencies, Civil Society, Citizens, Academia and the entertainment industry.

To ensure public participation, the citizens’ townhall will be livestreamed on Channels TV and Yiaga Africa’s pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter via #FixElectionsNG. Citizens can send their questions and comments before or during the townhall to Yiaga Africa via SMS or WhatsApp to 09038007744 or email – watchingthevote@yiaga.org.

The event is organized within the framework of the EU Support to democratic governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme with the following EU-SDGN partners; the Albino Foundation, International Press Centre (IPC), Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), CLEEN Foundation, European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES), Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Westminster Foundation, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), BBC Media Action, Institute of Media and Society (IMS) and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ).

–END–

Itodo Samson
Executive Director, Yiaga Africa

For media inquiries please contact: Moshood Isah, Communication Officer, +234 (0) 703 666 9339, misah@yiaga.org. Learn more about #WatchingTheVote at www.watchingthevote.org or on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/yiaga.org or on Twitter @YIAGA.

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