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PWDs, YIAGA, Others List 10 Demands That Must Be Captured In New Electoral Act



By Matthew Ogune, Abuja
Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), YIAGA Africa and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has called on the National Assembly to ensure that citizens demands are well captured in the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill.

Recall, that the National Assembly through its Joint-Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters had called a public hearing on the Bill for ‘An Act to Repeal the Electoral Act No 6, 2010 (As Amended) and Enact the Independent National Electoral Commission Act 2020’ on 9th December 2020.

The public hearing provided citizens with a platform to outline their demands and make inputs into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The public hearing was another testament to the 9th National Assembly’s commitments towards reforming the nation’s electoral system and process and ensuring that a new citizen-responsive Electoral Act is activated in a considerably good time. 

The group in a joint letter to the lawmakers outlined ten priorities that truly respond to citizens aspirations as a people working to build the nation’s electoral democracy.

In the letter, they urged the National Assembly to strengthen the financial Independence of INEC, make publication of polling unit level results by INEC compulsory as well as protecting the voting rights of visually impaired and Incapacitated Voters.

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They also demanded that the house considers reduction of the cost of nomination of candidates and promote the inclusion of women, youth, and persons living with disability in politics.

Other demands include the legitimisation of the use of technology in the electoral process through electronic accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic collation and transmission of results, stiffer sanctions for electoral offences, regulation of the conduct of security personnel on essential election duty, early voting for Nigerians on election day and voting rights for Nigerians in Diaspora.
According to them, the priority areas are consistent with the tenets of good governance and democratic consolidation and provide Nigerian citizens, especially young people, women and people living with disabilities, with the needed confidence in trusting the electoral outcome.

Adding that, adopting the priorities will elevate Nigeria’s standing globally amongst other nations using the instrumentality of the Law to build their electoral democracy and achieve stability and peace. 

“We, therefore, urge you to become a reference point for genuine change, through your support of these citizen’s priorities, by ensuring its reflectiveness in the proposed Electoral Amendment Bill”
“Posterity will reckon with you as we work together to reform our Electoral Act for an electoral process that guarantees credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria”
“Please be assured of our solidarity and support in our joint quest for the democratic consolidation and development of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”


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