2023: CTA releases reports, wants adoption of necessary technology 

For credible future elections, the Center for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to adopt necessary technology and address challenges with uploading of election results.

The election observer group also tasked the electoral empire to improve on the timely distribution of election materials, intensify voter education to combat misinformation, advocate for citizen participation in governance and continue to promote peaceful political conduct during elections.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja during public presentation of CTA’s report on the 2023 election titled ” Public perception of INEC and the conduct of elections in Nigeria: A comprehensive survey”, an increase Civil Society Organizations (CSO) involvement in educating citizens during the electoral processes in Nigeria, Strengthen the prosecution of election-related offences and enhance voters’ education to address issues arising from lack of awareness and misinformation conduct focus group discussions (FGDs) in rural areas to capture diverse perceptions from the grass root level, were also recommended.

Other reports released to public include; The 2023 General Elections observation report and a compendium of the 2019 general elections and off-season elections conducted by INEC up to 2022. 

In his presentation, one of the speakers, Prof. Alex Asigbo, said diverse perspectives from citizens reflect a mix of positive advancements and concerns in the 2023 general elections.

According to Asigbo, “Recommendations point towards the need for enhanced voter education, improved material distribution, security cooperation, and media regulation. The elections showcased progress but also underscored the importance of addressing areas for refinement in Nigeria’s electoral process.”

The report said some stakeholders hold mixed opinions the conduct of elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (NEC), whether it had conducted free fair, inclusive, and credible elections since the return of Democracy in Nigeria

It also entailed the conduct of a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on citizens’ perception and understanding of INEC’s Mandate and the conduct of the 2023 general elections. 

“The project focus on selected states across the six geopolitical of the country, using two states per geopolitical zone plus the FCT namely FCT, Kogi and Plateau (North Central). Kaduna and Sokoto (North West). Taraba and Gombe (North East), Anambra and Enugu (South East). Osun and Oyo (South West). Delta and Edo (South-South). The objective was to evaluate citizens perception, including understanding on the functions and mandates of INEC This was achieved through in-depth discussions among participants representing various stakeholder groups across the country. 

“The study designed to bring together diverse respondents bordering across stakeholders including CSOs, Youths, Observers, INEC Adhoc staff, law enforcement officers, women representatives, religious leaders, and politicians to a round table to discuss the performance of INEC during the general elections.”

Speaking earlier, Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, said regarding whether the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has conducted free, fair, inclusive, and credible elections since Nigeria’s return to democracy, various stakeholders have differing viewpoints depending on where they stand, their understanding of INEC’s mandate and the role that other stakeholders play in delivering the election.

According to her, it is important to note that the electoral system in Nigeria has improved, despite ongoing challenges. 

She said: “Voter education programmes, regular consultations with civil society leaders, citizens and stakeholders, media pallies and the use of technology to improve the efficiency and openness of the voting process are all part of the improvement. 

“Most significantly, is the mix of political actors at the National Assembly giving a mini semblance of the mix of culture and views in Nigeria.”