Yiaga Africa, Centre for Liberty, NESSACTION, Raising New Voices Initiative and Millennials Active Citizenship Advocacy Africa have called on the national assembly to fulfil its promise of passing the electoral act amendment bill.

The CSOs stated that the national assembly will be doing the nation a great service if it considers reforming the electoral law as a priority.

Although the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabir Gaya, had in July assured that the bill before the committee would be passed before the end of 2020, the CSOs say the process has not received the urgency and the attention it deserves.

Through this review, Nigeria intends to reduce the cost of elections, ensure the deployment of effective election technology and include stringent punishment for violators of electoral laws.

‘But in light of recent public commitments made by some national assembly members and principal officers, including the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, towards ensuring that electoral reform tops its priority list as the national assembly reconvenes, we are therefore optimistic that indeed, a timely and practical constitutional and electoral reform framework will be laid and achieved by December 2020’, they said.

Speaking on behalf of the CSOs, Executive Director of Raising New Voices Initiative, Banke Ilori Oyeniyi, said that the reform of the electoral act will not only help the democratic growth of the country but also mitigate the challenges affecting the electoral process.

‘Nigeria’s electoral process has become a shadow of itself and inspires very little hope and confidence for the future’, Oyeniyi said.

‘The challenges have also undermined Nigeria’s democratic credentials among the comity of nations.

‘The impact of our flawed elections can only be imagined by its monumental impact particularly because it has impaired our ability to deliver on the promises of democratic dividends and economic prosperity to our greatest population’.

Source: The Cable

Photo source: Temidayo Johnson

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