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93.4m voters registered for 2023 general election, only 24.9m voted



Yiaga Africa, a civil society organisation has shown in a report that out of the 93.47 million citizens that registered  for the 2023 General Elections, only 24.9 million voted, amounting to 26.72 per cent.

The report was put together by the organisation to identify key trends in Nigeria’s 2023 general elections, one year after.

The report tagged ‘Electoral Trust Restored? Nigeria’s Electoral Process One Year After the 2023 general elections’ , identified declining public trust and voter participation among the key issues that affected the election.

The report observed that, though 1,209 election petitions filed in courts by candidates and political parties challenging the outcome of the 2023 general elections, over 60 per cent of the petitions were unsuccessful.

It recommended that the National Assembly should eliminate all ambiguities in the Electoral Act, especially on the transmission of election results.

“The national assembly should eliminate all ambiguities in the 2022 electoral act as noted by election observers and court decisions on pre-election matters and election petitions, especially regarding collation and electronic transmission of results.

”Section 64 of the electoral act 2022 requires further amendment to clarify any ambiguity and prevent discretion in interpretation.

“The assembly should scrutinise section 89 of the electoral act 2022 to create a more inclusive and accountable process and establish a maximum limit for party nominations fees,” it added.

The report advocated that the President should demonstrate commitment to electoral reform by articulating an electoral reform agenda and sponsoring executive bills on electoral reforms.

“He should be committed to expeditious assent of electoral reform bills passed by the national assembly.

“In addition, he should also convene a dialogue on elections to discuss the future of elections and build national consensus on electoral reforms,” the Yiaga report added.

It said the Judiciary should conduct a comprehensive audit of the role of judicial officers in elections, including conflicting judgements and substituting electoral justice with legal technicalities.

On declining public trust in the electoral system, the report advised INEC to publish its review of the general elections giving details of administrative and legal reforms needed to improve the electoral process in Nigeria.

It advised security agencies to prosecute personnel who were complicit in election manipulation during the general and off cycle elections, while Civil Society Organisations should sustain vigilance of the electoral process and advocacy to sustain expected reforms.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the report provided insights on the quality of the elections, lessons, follow-up commitments made by stakeholders and steps to build upon milestones and initiate necessary reforms to enhance the quality of Nigeria’s electoral process.

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