Because the world would be watching Nigeria, the British High Commission said on Wednesday that it was committed to a successful general election in 2023.
The BHC stated that the implementation of the 2023 election would be a significant milestone for Nigeria, despite the fact that it acknowledged that the economic crisis’s worsening and security issues would be potential threats to the election.
This was stated by Elizabeth Drew, Head of Governance and Stability at the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office of the United Kingdom, on Tuesday in Abuja during a national stakeholders forum on elections organized by a coalition of over 80 human rights organizations with support from FCDO and UKAID under the aegis of Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, stated on the program that the commission was mobilizing every national institution to track campaign financing and combat the unauthorized flow of funds.
Ene Obi, the NCSSR convener, stated that the forum would critically evaluate the current political climate and offer suggestions regarding the preparations for and conduct of the 2023 general elections.
“All eyes and attention will be on the elections as we get closer to the general elections in 2023, and expectations will be very high given that this will be Nigeria’s sixth general election since 1999.
We will also use the forum to promote political power building in order to address voter mobilization and civic engagement.It is our desire to see a better constituent climate in Nigeria as we head toward the overall races in 2023.
According to Obi, “We will continue to work toward improving Nigeria’s elections – to ensure that the process is free, fair, and reflects the choice of citizens.”
Drew stated, “As we approach the polls, there are admittedly concerns.”The backdrop for Nigeria’s general elections is a lack of economic growth and security concerns.
“All of these things have the potential to affect how well the polls are carried out and prevent citizens from meaningfully participating across the nation.The United Kingdom is prepared to continue supporting INEC and all relevant stakeholders in their efforts to carry out the polls in an efficient manner in this setting.
“The democracy of Nigeria really matters;Nigeria’s leadership on electoral reform and practice is significant for the continent and beyond as the largest democracy in Africa.Nigeria is viewed as a model for democracy by other nations.In this regard, a significant milestone will be reached when the polls in 2023 are carried out.
“We believe in Nigeria and in Nigeria’s democracy as a long-term partner.We hope that Nigeria’s general election next year goes well.
The chairman of INEC stated that the commission was prepared to monitor campaign financing and the unauthorized transfer of funds between politicians and political parties that fund elections.
“Turning to campaign finance, the commission is determined to address the matter frontally,” Yakubu stated.Party and candidate spending that goes beyond what is required by law, as well as the obscene practice of buying votes at polling places on election day, are examples of violations.
“To confront the issue head-on, we are mobilizing every national institution responsible for tracking and combating the illicit flow of funds as well as the broadcast and print media regulatory agencies.We will soon reveal the specifics of this.”
Yakubu said that INEC would continue to collaborate with civil societies to improve Nigeria’s electoral system.
He said that INEC had looked over the Memorandum of Understanding with the National Union of Road Transport Workers and added the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria for the riverine areas to the collaboration.
He stated, “The commission met again with the service providers and reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding with the road transport unions on electoral logistics, particularly the arrangements for the movement of personnel and materials to various locations during elections.”
“Based on our experience in previous elections, the commission has included the marine union for riverine areas in the scope of collaboration.The service providers will soon sign a revised MoU that covers both land and maritime transportation.
“Nonetheless, there are four wide regions that Nigerians might want to get confirmations of the headway the Commission is making and difficulties (if any) being experienced.The Permanent Voters’ Cards, security, campaign finance, technology, and assurances that their votes will be counted on election day are among them.
The commission has repeatedly stated that security is a concern.Elections are the responsibility of the commission.However, it is the shared responsibility of the security agencies, political actors and their supporters, the media, and all other important stakeholders to ensure both the peaceful conduct of elections and the environment for the deployment of personnel and materials.
“A cause for concern is the country’s ongoing insecurity.This current test is intensified by the sad occurrences of assaults on missions, rallies and parades across every single ideological group.”
In addition, Yakubu stated that the commission held an emergency meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in addition to the provisions of the law in response to the most recent assaults on INEC Local Government offices in Ogun and Osun States.
“Far-reaching solutions were reached, including the nationwide deployment of joint security teams.In addition, the Inspector-General of Police called an extraordinary meeting with political party leaders to discuss the need for peaceful elections.
He declared, “We will continue to follow up on that courageous step in our engagement with political parties and other critical stakeholders.”
The Nigeria Police Force was working to ensure an enabling environment for the conduct of the 2023 elections, according to Usman Alkali-Baba, the Inspector-General of Police, who was represented by Onaghise Osanyade, the Assistant Commissioner of Police and Director of Operations for the ACA.
Alkali-Baba, on the other hand, stated that the elections would be peaceful, free, and credible if other stakeholders worked together.