Friday, March 24, 2023

Corruption to mar Nigeria’s presidential, guber elections: Report

The same issue will be in the spotlight during 2023 elections in Nigeria (24) and Ghana (43) in 2024,” added Transparency International.

• January 31, 2023
President Mohammadu Buhari and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo

Transparency International’s latest report, the 2022 Corruption Perception Index, has warned that electoral fraud will be a “core issue” in Nigeria’s national and state elections.

The report indicates that corruption directly influences democracy security and development in Sub-Saharan Africa, noting that Nigeria’s presidential, parliamentary and governorship polls, scheduled to take place on February 25 and March 11, could be marred by corruption.

According to the report released on Tuesday, given the sluggish progress the country recorded in the fight against corruption in the past year, several factors indicate the likelihood of corruption marring the process of next month’s poll, necessitating an urgent need for “public scrutiny for political financing.”

“This year’s CPI results underline how intertwined paths of democracy, security, and development in Sub-Saharan Africa are eroded by corruption – particularly during a time of global crises,” the corruption watchdog stated.

“…It is no surprise that corruption was a core issue in many of the elections in 2022. The integrity of the vote itself also remained a concern. In Kenya (32), the election highlighted the urgent need for public scrutiny of political financing. The same issue will be in the spotlight during 2023 elections in Nigeria (24) and Ghana (43) in 2024,” added Transparency International.

The conflict and security risks in the region, according to the report, have made it harder for the government to combat corruption, including when it manifests as an abuse of power in which the government cracks down on dissent and opposition voices as well as when the judiciary is manipulated for political purposes.

It explained that conflict and security challenges “have further weakened institutions and undermined” countries’ capacity to respond decisively to corruption.

“This has also meant little to no action in preventing capital flight – estimated to be in tens of billions of dollars each year – from the region. Independent checks on power continued to take a hit, too,” the report explained. “Opposition figures or activists have been intimidated, smeared or arrested – at times under the pretence of anti-corruption crackdowns and enabled by heavily politicized judicial systems.”

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