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Thursday, June 8, 2023

    Nigeria: Forum Addresses Election Concerns

    The Electoral Forum has called for the criminalisation of vote buying and selling with strict enforcement of penalties through collaborative efforts amongst relevant agencies in Nigeria.

    The forum, which held its sixth technical session on 20 July, 2022, analysed the Ekiti and Osun elections, and their implications for the country’s general election in 2023.

    It expressed concerns about vote buying and selling and the high number of rejected votes, noting that 18,674 invalid votes/rejected votes were recorded during the Osun election.

    Development Diaries had reported that the Ekiti State gufbernatorial election, which took place on 18 June, 2022, was marred by widespread vote buying.

    Yiaga Africa and other election monitoring groups also raised concerns about vote buying and selling in the buildup to the election.

    The forum however commended the many progressive provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, the conduct of party primaries by some of the political parties, the supervision of the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, and the work of security agencies during the elections.

    ‘There is clear evidence that our elections are getting better although still challenged by vote buying and selling’, the forum said in a statement to Development Diaries.

    ‘Vote buying and selling as well as delegate inducements should be criminalised with strict enforcement of penalties through collaborative efforts amongst relevant agencies including police, EFCC, ICPC, and INEC’, the forum added.

    ‘There is a need for the reform of the process of candidates’ emergence with a specific focus on the quality of delegates that would participate in the selection of candidates (party primaries)’.

    The forum further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civil society actors to develop and promote a programme of education on the new electoral act.

    The Electoral Forum is an initiative of The Electoral Hub that pools resource persons from electoral management bodies together with other electoral stakeholders to conceptualise solutions to the unique problems facing electoral governance in Nigeria.

    Photo source: The Electoral Hub

    Chinonso Kenneth
    Chinonso Kennethhttps://www.impacthouse.ltd
    Chinonso Kenneth Onwurah is a solution-focused journalist, policy analyst and research writer in the thematic areas of good governance, environmental sustainability and gender equality. He holds a master's degree in Political Economy and Development Studies.

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