The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD) that Nigeria’s 24 years of uninterrupted democracy, is an affirmation of the country’s thriving democracy.
The National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, who stated this in Abuja, noted it is pertinent to celebrate Nigeria for ensuring that democracy stands.
She further underscored the need to encourage democratic processes to enable the realise the nation that everyone wants.
She said: “The 2023 general elections, which marked 24 years of the country’s unbroken democracy in a stretch, since its independence, was a major milestone.
“I have never seen any country where there are instability and the military were able to consolidate development and economic growth.
“That is why it is important that we need to first celebrate Nigeria for ensuring that democracy stands in our nation and that is why we need to encourage democratic processes to enable us realise the Nigeria we all want.
“We need to join hands with our leaders to make it better, we do not need to compare ourselves with the Western world”.
The Director, Corps Welfare and Health Services, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mr Omotade Folorunso, called for an upward review of renumeration given to the corps members participating in subsequent elections.
Folorunso said it was important to deploy adequate security personnel to hard-to-reach communities in the country.
Also, the Commandant of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), Ayodele Adeleke, added that in tackling logistics problems in future elections, INEC should make adequate provisions for transportation of materials to all the polling units in the country.
Adeleke who was represented by Dr Adegboyega Kareem, Director, Research, NISS, added that simulation exercise in this regard, with all the critical stakeholders must be carried out to identify loopholes and proffer solutions before the elections.
Mr Abdulkarim Chukkol, Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said the commission’s effort in combating voter inducement, sent strong shivers to those involved in the act.
Chukkol who was represented by Mr Adariku Michael, said that the EFCC deployed its operatives across the country to prevent the issue of vote-buying and selling and it was able to arrest, investigate and prosecute those found wanting.
He recommended that for the country to get it right, there was need for continuous sensitisation of voters on the short, medium and long term effect of selling their votes.
“Selling votes brings bad governance, Nigerians must desist from this act.
“There is also need to amend our legal reform to make stiffer punishment for offenders.
“There is need for close monitoring of elections by security agencies by making their presence well felt in every polling unit.
“It is also important that we have a strategic planning and deliberate implementation of cashless policy, this will sure help in reducing voters inducement,” he said.
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