A politics scholar, Prof. Adele Jinadu, has bemoaned the escalation of identity-based ethno-religious conflict during the 2023 general elections.
He said the trend was disturbing because Nigeria should be a model for constructive and democratic management of ethno-religious diversity for African countries.
Jinadu spoke in Lagos at a “Post-mortem Roundtable on the 2023 Elections in Nigeria” organised by the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).
“This is a disturbing development, because other African countries have looked up to Nigeria as a model for the constructive and democratic management of ethno-religious diversity management, with the African Peer Review Mechanism Country Review Report of Nigeria in 2007 highlighting the country’s federal character clauses and its Council of States as commendable practice for other African countries to emulate and adopt,” he said.
Jinadu noted that there were glitches in certain areas of the electoral process, including the recruitment and training of ad hoc staff.
He explained that the glitches were caused among others by the modality for appointing members of INEC and the Resident Electoral Commissioners, stressing that 27 out of the 37 RECs were not reappointed between 2021 and 2022.
“This set of risk factors creates an inclement environment for control and discipline, and accountability and transparency, which contribute to the ineffectiveness of election administration and management and particularly to operational glitches in the penultimate days to and on election day,” he added.
Meanwhile the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr Adewale Adebayo, who said that the analysis came at the right time, called for ethical reforms, which he said methodology and technology could not guarantee.
“Ethical revolution is what Nigeria needs. INEC ought to have a system of monitoring its staff because our election is a reflection of the state of our mentality in Nigeria.
“Elections in Nigeria are too consequential and we need social institutions to resolve matters in our elections,” he said.