Group blames 2023 election controversies on ignorance of electoral act

Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) has expressed worry over poor knowledge of the Electoral Act in Nigeria by critical stakeholders despite its availability in the public space.

Executive Director, PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu disclosed this on Thursday in Awka during a Citizens’ Town Hall Meeting on Electoral Reform, supported by MacArthur Foundation.

He said inadequate education and knowledge of the Electoral Act 2022 contributed largely to controversies in the 2023 general elections.

He, however, argued that despite controversies surrounding the polls, there were areas of recorded successes which would only be improved upon.

He said: “Poor knowledge of the Electoral Act created lots of serious controversies during and after the 2023 general elections.

“Election is a law-guided activity and you cannot participate in an election, if you do not understand the law or legal framework guiding it.

“We discovered that many people, including critical stakeholders talk about elections in ignorance with lots of misinformation. They depend on gossips and social media for information.

“Just as Christians have copies of the Bible to guide them and Muslims have the Quran to guide them, so also citizens should have a copy of the Electoral Act, study and apply it.

“This is why we are holding this town hall forum in all the 36 states and FCT to bridge the gap by popularising knowledge of electoral framework as well as draw suggestions and ideas to reform and improve our electoral processes.

“The forum will also empower traditional rulers, community leaders, civil society organisations, religious leaders and the media to deepen the understanding of the Electoral Act 2022 ahead of next elections.”

Assuring distribution of abridged electronic copy of the Act to empower stakeholders with adequate knowledge, Nwagwu expressed optimism that such measures would assist them speak authoritatively about election process and educate the citizens better.

“We believe that this forum will drive the change and reforms in the society especially issues around elections and good governance,” he said.

Earlier, Programme Manager, Isaiah Amonye said the workshop was targeted at harvesting the gains and areas of improvement ahead future elections in Nigeria.

“The meeting will also provide all stakeholders with the opportunity of making relevant contributions that will strengthen the country electoral process ahead of future elections,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *