National Coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Hassan Taiwo Soweto (left); CAPPA boss, Akinbode Oluwafemi; and CAPPA official, Zikora Ibeh, at the event.
Oluwafemi specifically called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the nation’s apex bank, and other relevant stakeholders to resolve the lingering fuel and cash scarcity capable of negatively impacting the logistical capacities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
By Valentine Amanze
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has expressed optimism that credible election is achievable in the forthcoming exercise in Nigeria if stakeholders work together against rising insecurity, cash squeeze, fuel scarcity and logistics problems.
It also advised the federal government to to flush out the violent groups, secure villages and towns hit by insecurity before the elections.
The CAPPA Executive Director, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, stated these in his speech titled, “Threats Remain, But a Free and Fair Election is Possible!” at the media presentation of the latest report, “2023 General Elections – Challenges and Threats to Consolidating Democracy,” on February 9, 2023, in Lagos.
Oluwafemi specifically called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the nation’s apex bank, and other relevant stakeholders to resolve the lingering fuel and cash scarcity capable of negatively impacting the logistical capacities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other important parties such as election monitors.
Besides, he urged the Nigerian government to work with community watchpersons and security agencies to deploy technology including drones to electronically track in real time the movement of all vehicles and boats used in conveying electoral personnel and materials to prevent their hijacking and diversion.
He warned against bypassing and hacking of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) platforms, while advising the government to put in place mechanisms for swift countermeasures to prevent it.
“Where necessary, it should leverage international support for this purpose,” he said.
He called on relevant government, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies to agree on effective measures to ensure the participation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the election.
“This can be done by developing a register which accurately maps the number, identity, status and location of displaced persons,” he said.
Oluwafemi however appealed to the federal government to promptly arrest electoral offenders and prosecute them to serve as a deterrent to other intending lawbreakers.
He pointed out that violence often starts with allegations of bias, hence the INEC, the police and other security agencies must maintain utmost impartiality in the course of discharging their duties.
On logistics, Comrade Hassan Taiwo Soweto, the national coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), advised the INEC or the federal government to provide its vehicles inclusive of boats to convey election materials.
He warned against using private individuals to convey such sensitive materials, stressing that such individuals could be simpartetic to the government in power.
“How would INEC allow Oluomo, who is working for the APC government of Lagos, to provide vehicles to convey INEC’s sensitive materials,” Soweto said.
Meanwhile, the report examined Nigeria’s tumultuous democratic history, from its independence in 1960 marked by military coups to the restoration of civilian rule in 1999.
It highlighted the persistent challenges of electoral malpractices faced during previous elections, as well as the improvements in the country’s electoral landscape.