The Yiaga Africa has urged federal lawmakers to support Nigerians listed top priorities as it considered the electoral amendment, ahead of the 2023 General Elections.
The Yiaga Africa’s Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu, made the call during a meeting with a former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Chair, House of Representatives, Women in Parliament Committee, Hon. Taiwo Oluga.
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She said that as Nigerians anticipate the enactment of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Other Electoral Matters Act (2021), it is imperative that the content of the electoral law reflects the wishes of the people while guaranteeing the sanctity of the ballot.
According to her, these recommendations are mainly feedback from citizen engagements via various communication platforms as part of efforts to ensure the drive for electoral reform is citizen-driven.
She said that the outlined 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 nation’s electoral outcome.
“Adopting these 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,” she said.
A spokesman of Yiaga Africa, Mr. Moshood Isah said in a statement on Wednesday that having delivered letters to all 469 members of the National Assembly to make a clarion call, in support of citizens’ top 10 priorities on electoral amendment, Yiaga Africa commenced advocacy visits to key members to chart pathways of achieving an electoral act that befits Nigerians.
He said that in the course of the advocacy, Yiaga Africa’s Elections and Center for Legislative Engagement teams met with Senator Ekweremadu, Hon. Oluga; and members of the Electoral Amendment Committee, Hon. Bob Solomon and Hon. Kpam Jimin Sokpo.
Speaking while receiving the delegation, Senator Ekweremadu said that a good number of citizens’ priorities will be reflected in the electoral amendment.
On electronic voting, Ekweremadu said that Nigerians need to be familiarized with this technology so that it becomes the norm.
He said that electronic transmission of results will limit the chaos that could mar physical transportation of election results from polling units to ward level, thereby limiting the role of security in the process.
He urged the Yiaga Africa to sensitize citizens on the role of presiding officers in the deployment of electronic voting and transmission.