A regional coalition of pro-democracy civil society organizations has said Nigeria’s general elections have implications for similar votes to be held in two West African countries this year. The other two West African countries are Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The West African Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS) said this on Friday during its four-day official visit to Nigeria. The coalition highlighted areas where the country needed to improve in order to achieve credible surveys.

Nigeria holds its presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25 and gubernatorial elections in several states on March 11.

Sierra Leone queues up behind Nigeria as it holds its own elections in June, while Liberia will follow suit in October.

Addressing reporters in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Friday, WADEMOS delegation leader Kojo Asante said Nigeria’s elections “are particularly important for the entire sub-region as they set the tone for subsequent elections. in Sierra Leone (June 2023). ) and Liberia (October 2023).”

This, according to Mr. Asante, required the need to stand in solidarity with civil society, especially WADEMOS members in Nigeria, assess the level of preparedness of key electoral stakeholders for the elections and offer recommendations to key stakeholders to correct the challenges identified.

Mr. Asante, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Ghana, said his delegation met “a number of stakeholders in Nigeria” during their visit between 24 and on January 28.

WADEMOS delegation meeting with Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu Esq., Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission, in Abuja, Nigeria.

Those they met with in Abuja included ECOWAS, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the National Human Rights Commission, the National Peace Committee, the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and some media platforms.

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He said that the delegation “received a strong guarantee from INEC on its preparation for the conduct of the elections” and praised the deployment of technology for the conduct of the elections.

He also noted that “there was a significant increase in public interest and enthusiasm in the election with the large number of new voters registering in the cleanup exercise, and this is encouraging particularly among young people.”

He praised the “great voting community” of 48 million out of the total 92.3 million registered to vote in the upcoming election.


Weeks before the elections, the WADEMOS delegation has identified a “prolonged incidence of fuel shortages” as a major threat to the “deployment of materials and logistics before the elections”.

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Since last year, Nigerians across the country have been queuing for long periods to buy fuel in different parts of the country, including the federal capital Abuja and Lagos, the nation’s economic hub.

“We strongly note the postponement of previous elections in Nigeria, partly due to logistical concerns,” WADEMOS said.

Dr. Kojo Pumpuni Asante, head of the WADEMOS delegation in Nigeria, addressed journalists in Abuja on Friday.
Dr. Kojo Pumpuni Asante, head of the WADEMOS delegation in Nigeria, addressed journalists in Abuja on Friday.

It also identified other issues that could threaten the smooth conduct and credibility of voting, including the inability of registered voters to obtain their permanent voter cards (PVC) at collection centers, the large-scale malfunction of the Accreditation System of Bimodal Voters (BIVAS) on Election Day, multiple security concerns, among others.

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Mr. Asante listed the various recommendations of WADEMOS to INEC, the Nigerian government, political parties, the media, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the wider international community.

Part of its recommendations is that INEC should ensure that ad-hoc staff are adequately trained to minimize potential human error, particularly around the deployment of the BVAS on election day.

He also urged INEC to clarify the electoral law that stipulates that the winner of the presidential race must obtain a majority of the total votes and 25 percent of the votes in at least two[1]thirds of the states of Nigeria and the FCT.

“This is in the context of multiple interpretations assigned to the law and the expected competitiveness surrounding the 2023 presidential race,” he said.

It also recommended that there should be a commitment by security agencies to ensure that known hotbeds of violence and conflict are prioritized for adequate coverage and security interventions ahead of the election and on election day.

“In addition, security agencies must be properly equipped and adequately resourced to provide security during elections.”

He also urged the government to “resist the temptation to abuse its ownership in the administration of the elections and avoid electoral violence.”

She added: “The government must ensure greater participation of women in politics and government through affirmative action policies and programs. Political Leaders and Interest Groups”

He called on political parties and their candidates to avoid violence and all forms of incitement as tools to mobilize and obtain votes among their followers.

He also urged them to “adhere to the peace agreement and its commitments before, during and after the elections.”

He advised the media to “popularize and demand accountability in the implementation of the peace agreement.

WADEMOS also said that the media must be on high alert to intercept and counter any instances of disinformation and misinformation, particularly on election day.

On the roles of ECOWAS, the African Union and the international community, WADEMOS called to “continue to monitor the proceedings in the run-up to the elections and maintain its support for free, credible and fair elections in Nigeria in line with relevant regional norms.” . governing instruments of the elections”.

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