Monday, July 22, 2024

Stakeholders call for electoral reforms ahead of 2027 elections 

He also stressed constant reorientation for electoral officers and continuous voter education.

• June 13, 2024
Polling unit
Polling unit used to illustrate the story

Some stakeholders have called for improvement in the nation’s electioneering processes to ensure credible, free and fair elections come 2027.

They stated this on Thursday at a town hall meeting held in Ibadan to review the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

SOS Children’s Village Nigeria organised the meeting with community stakeholders in Akinyẹle and Ibadan North Local Government Areas.

The assistant secretary, Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Musa Akinsawe, emphasised the need to increase access for persons with disabilities and involve them in planning during electioneering processes.

He also stressed constant reorientation for electoral officers and continuous voter education.

“Part of what we are clamouring for is accessibility to electoral venues and convenience in voting.

“Elections for people living with disabilities must be easily accessible; the ballot box must be where PWDs can vote without being assisted by anyone,’’ Mr Akinsawe said.

Also, the assistant secretary, National Council for Women Societies, Isimiola Olowoyo, identified the need for increased community engagement to restore eroded cultural values.

Ms Olowoyo said such engagements came up toward the 2023 general elections and that her association would sustain them.

She said this would ensure that the right values were imbibed to translate later to good governance in Nigeria.

According to her, lapses recorded in the last elections, such as inadequate security personnel, should be worked on.

“They should empower more security officers so that there will be no violence and there were places where electoral materials were not available on time; this should be worked on,” Ms Olowoyo said.

Representatives of religious bodies and traditional rulers from the two local government areas called for continuous voter registration and increased awareness from the basic education level.

The programme officer, SOS Children’s Village Nigeria, Grace Sambo, said communities should learn from past elections and choose their representatives based on competency.

Ms Sambo said ethnicity, tribalism and religion should not be the criteria to elect leaders, adding that sentiments must be thrown away.

Calling for social reengineering, Ms Sambo identified the benefits of peaceful elections and existence to include family stability which would impact children positively.

Also, the state coordinator, SOS Children’s Village Nigeria, Gabriel Adajie, urged participants to rejuvenate cultural norms that promote value systems in communities.

According to him, poverty and other factors have been weaponised to divide Nigerians, hence the need to change the narrative come 2027.

He noted that the electorates were, in a way, encouraging the political class to continue with the norm in the country.

“For us to change what is on the ground, we have to make sacrifices. We need to endure hunger so as not to continue to make the same mistakes,” Mr Adajie said. 

(NAN)

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