CSO urges stakeholders to deepen Nigeria’s democracy

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The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), a Non-Profit, Non-Governmental, has urged stakeholders to remain steadfast in preserving the integrity of Nigeria’s democracy.

The Executive Director of the Civil Society Organisation, Ms Faith Nwadishi, made the call at a one-day stakeholders roundtable on the 2023 General elections.

While emphasising the importance of putting the challenges encountered during the last election into context, Nwadishi urged stakeholders to remain committed to the sustenance of democracy.

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She also said that even though there were hurdles faced during the electoral process, Nigerians should focus on the positives that emerged from the elections and ensure they were sustained.

“United by a shared commitment to a common cause, we must tirelessly pursue a free, fair, and credible electoral process.”

She, however, said that innovative reforms such as the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) had helped to a large extent to strengthen the credibility and transparency of elections in spite of the myriads of challenges faced.

Nwadishi also called for free, fair and transparent elections during the off-season election in three states: Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.

“As we push closer to the off-season election in three states, we must ensure that the gains we have had in the electoral process were not swept under the carpet.

“We should call out other stakeholders in the process, the security agents on the need to have security so that citizens who come out to vote are protected. “

Also speaking, Executive Director of Partners for Electoral Reform Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu said that the 2023 election had the greatest logistics challenge because of the cashless policy during that period.

He, however, said that the BVAS worked 98 per cent adding that voting went on smoothly.

“2023 General Election was a watershed in the sense that the BVAS was for us a game changer. It took away voter identification theft.

“That is why my organisation is working with National Orientation Agency (NOA). We have already kick-started a regional review of the 2023 election. We have done one in Kano and Enugu,” Nwagwu said.

Nwagwu said that rather than condemning the managers of that election, they should be praised for ensuring that the election was held unlike in 2011 when the election was postponed midstream.

 

 

NAN/N.O

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