UK Reiterates Commitment to Improving Nigeria’s Electoral System
The United Kingdom, UK has said Nigeria has the largest democracy in Africa, and it will continue to support its democracy and electoral system.
The UK stated this at a retreat of the Joint Technical Committee on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2020 in Abuja, Friday.
According to Sam Waldock, the Head of Governance and Stability at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, the UK has spent over £50 million as support to Nigeria’s electoral process in the last five years.
Africa noted that the UK, being a supporter of Nigeria’s democracy and its electoral system, is ready to offer more assistance to enhance it further ahead of the general election.
According to him: “It will therefore be good to have a robust, comprehensive system in a place far ahead of the general election so that adequate preparations could be made,” Waldock said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, commended the National Assembly Joint Committee’s efforts on INEC, Senate Committee on INEC for providing a new legal framework for the conduct of elections in the country.
The INEC boss was represented by Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner of INEC, Voter Education. He said INEC is committed to improving elections in the country, urging critical stakeholders to demonstrate respect for the constitution and the law.
“The reform must be impactful and should be concluded by the first quarter of 2021,” he said.
“INEC is committed to the amendment process and would make recommendations that would improve Nigeria’s elections.
“However, it must be borne in mind that amending the electoral legal framework will not automatically guarantee or lead to an improvement in the management and conduct of elections.
“The Constitution and the Electoral Act can only be effective through the action and inaction of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process.
“The Constitution and Electoral Act can enhance the electoral process if the electoral management body, political parties and the Electoral actors, the security agencies, the media, and civil society organisations effectively play their roles.”
“Nigeria democracy and electoral processes will become more robust if the critical stakeholders in the process resolve to restore sovereignty to the people as the true determinant of the outcome.”