The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has urged the federal government to address the country’s current security challenges ahead of the 2023 general election.
The organization expressed concern that if security issues are not addressed, the 2023 elections will be marred by voter apathy.
“TMG urges the government to address our multifaceted security challenge as soon as possible before the election in 2023.
“This is to prevent voter apathy that may arise as a result of voters’ inability to travel to exercise their civic rights, the safety of electoral materials and electoral officials, and the credibility of the electoral result,” said the group’s chairman, Auwal Rafsanjani, at a news conference on the state of the electoral process in Nigeria on Thursday.
Rafsanjani expressed regret that politicians were parading unaccounted campaign spending and party financing by using illegitimate funds as the sole means of winning voters over, noting that corruption in Nigeria’s electoral processes showed no signs of abating anytime soon.
According to him, INEC and other relevant agencies must address the threat in order for voters to form a more objective opinion of the candidates for whom they will vote.
Rafsanjani stated that the new leadership would revolutionize Nigeria’s election observation process, resulting in the restoration of the integrity and legitimacy of the entire electoral process, including elections and their outcomes.
TMG, he continued, aimed to ensure the highest standards in Nigerian election administration by ensuring that the election management body and the electorate carried out their legal responsibilities during elections.
He stated that the group would not only observe elections, but would also work to ensure that Nigeria had good governance through responsible leadership.
For improved credibility and fairness, the group requested that the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Act be amended to allow it to conduct local council elections.
Since 1999, credible local government elections in Nigeria have been illusory, according to Rafsanjani.
“Rather than reflecting the consent and aspirations of the people as electorates, the processes and outcome of the LGA election reflected the will of the state and ruling party.
“A lack of trust in local elections has resulted from the state government’s political interference and the partisanship of the state independent electoral commission.
“As a result of inconsistency in the application of electoral guidelines and poor communication channels between the state electoral commission and electoral stakeholders, voter apathy is on the rise.
“TMG sees this as a rape of rural governance, posing a serious threat to participatory democracy, accountability, and rural development,” he said.
TMG urged the Nigeria Governors Forum, political parties, and other interested parties to unite in ensuring that credible LGA elections are prioritized and held on time.
He also stated that reforms for local institutional strengthening and a framework for local government development should be implemented.
He went on to say that the autonomy of the states’ judiciary and houses of assembly had yet to take effect, which was a major source of concern.