The federal government has been urged to rebuild the confidence of the electorates and the population in the nation’s democratic process.
This was the unanimous call by experts during a webinar orgainised by the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, saying voters’ confidence on electoral system can only be revitalized if necessary measures are put in place to ensure transparency.
The webinar which with the theme “Democracy Backsliding in Africa, the 2019 Elections in Nigeria was supported Rosa Luxemburg Foundation West Africa
In his presentation, Dr Musa Ibori of the Faculty of Social sciences, University of Abuja opined that the 2019 election may express the beginning of the backsliding stage of democratisation in Nigeria.
He said the present administration still has a chance to rebuild the confidence of the electorates and the populations in the democratic process.
He, however, said the onus is left for the civil societies to strive to build democracy from its backsliding
In his presentation, Professor Gani Yoroms from the National Defence College said election is a process rather than an end itself.
He said therefore, democratic process should rather be consolidated rather than reversing the gains already made, stressing that one of the ways to ensure transparency in the electoral process is to ensure the independence of electoral body can only be ensured if it is financially independent.
He said, “The independence of electoral body can only be ensured if it is financially independent. No serious democracy can flourish in an atmosphere of insecurity. While the citizens should be protected to freely express their franchise, electoral institutions must also be protected and strengthened to serve their objectives.
“Voters confidence on electoral system can only be revitalized if necessary measures are put in place to ensure transparency. The use of electronic voting system can go a long way in boosting the morale of electorates.
“There should be regular interface among the critical stakeholders like government, political parties and civil society organisations on how to ensure free, fair and transparent elections devoid of security threat and intimidation.
Election is like a national referendum. No candidate should be imposed on the citizens in order not to give opportunity to those feeling short changed to endanger the security of the nation.”
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