Democratic process: Group tasks politicians on sustenance

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Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), a civil society organisation (CSO), has urged politicians and security agencies to be guided by patriotism and the rule of law to ensure the sustenance of democratic process in Nigeria.

INEC electoral materials

The Acting Executive Director of the group, Ms Faith Nwadishi, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the event was to review and assess the 2019 general elections.

She said: “We do ourselves and our nation great harm when we undermine institutions charged with delivering free and fair election.

“What we have seen with this past election is that, it is not enough to have credible and committed people in charge of Independent National Electoral commission (INEC).

“For them to deliver on their mandate, they must be helped by other critical stakeholders.They all must be on the same page and the whole electoral ecosystem must be sanitised. It must start with our political leaders recognising that democracy is not desperation.

“When you exhibit the kind of desperation politicians showed during the last general elections, the message you are sending out is that you are not prepared to deliver on governance.”

The acting executive director stressed the need for all stakeholders to return to the drawing board with INEC to fashion out enforceable code of conduct that must deliver free and fair elections in the future.

Nwadishi said that INEC, in collaboration with other relevant government agencies and the political class, must continue to invest in continuous voter education to ensure electorate were enlightened on election matters.

“The poor turnout in the last election attributed to citizens’ lack of interest in the political process.“

The acting executive director attributed the development to “unfulfilled robust strategy of creating awareness and reaching Nigerians wherever they are with actionable information.“

She said that such information would have enlightened electorate why it was crucial for them to come out to vote on election days.

“With appropriate funding, CTA and sister organisations can help INEC in this regard by engaging and mobilising Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as professional associations to assist in creating awareness for subsequent elections.”

(NAN)

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