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General election ‘should be conducted’ in one day

General election ‘should be conducted’ in one day
February 16
17:42 2020
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The Center for Liberty (CFL), a civil society organisation, says conducting general election in a day would significantly curb incidents of rigging, violence and reduce costs.

In a statement signed by Ariyo-Dare Atoye, Deji Adeyanju and Raphael Adebayo, its co-conveners, CFL asked the national assembly to immediately amend the electoral act to accommodate “full biometrics for accreditation and electronic collation of results.”

It said loopholes and defects remain inherent in Nigeria’s electoral process can only be resolved by electoral reforms.

The group further announced the commencement of a people-driven Electoral Reform Advocacy (ERA) sponsored by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) to ensure the immediate passage of the electoral act by the 9th assembly.

It asked that electoral reforms be put in place before the next governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, explaining that it is important for the reforms to be tested in the off-season elections.

“We will, among other provisions in the Amendment Bill before the National Assembly, be advocating for Full Biometrics for Accreditation, Electronic Collation of Results, Conduct of All State (Governorship, House of Assembly) and Federal Elections (President, National Assembly) in One Day, Free Movement of Electorates to enable a wider voter participation, Election Finance Reform, as well as other important provisions,” the statement read.

“We believe that the 9th National Assembly has a responsibility to actively aggregate the general views of all stakeholders in Nigeria’s democratic process including the Civil Society Organizations, Political Parties, International partners and especially the electorate, to legislate an enduring Electoral Reform Act that will reinforce the trust of the electorates and other stakeholders in the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process.

“Elections in Nigeria, including the recent nationwide re-run elections, have repeatedly exposed the inherent loopholes and defects in our electoral process. This urgently requires electoral reforms which we believe must be prioritized as a foremost legislative focus, before the next governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

“We are saddened that after 20 years of uninterrupted democratic dispensation Nigeria is yet to learn the simple way to organize credible elections. This repeated failure to organize elections according to global standards has severely damaged Nigeria’s reputation among the comity of nations.

“Therefore, the 9th Senate and House of Representatives must as a matter of urgency, factor into its legislative deliberations an amended Electoral Act that will address the political consequences and socio-economic impact of sub-standard elections, prevent the endless anguish and trepidation foisted on electorates as a result of election violence, and also prevent the general threat of less than free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria’s democratic and electoral processes.”

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