By Hassana Yakubu
The ActionAid Nigeria and Centre for Communication and Social Impact(CCSI) In collaboration with Legal Awareness for Women (LAWN) have called on the Political class to adhere strictly to the principle of true participatory democracy and good Governance that will usher the country to the much needed economic development through democratization.
Speaking on the occassion to mark the 2022 Democracy Day organized by ActionAid Nigeria and CCSI with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office(FCDO), the Group frowned looking at the the slow dispensation of democracy, saying, despite the 23 years of uninterrupted democratic rule, Nigerians are yet to see the much-anticipated dividends of democracy.
Executive Director, CCSI, Babafunke Fagbemi said, the country is still regarded as one of the countries with highest incident of poverty, unemployment as very high, in almost all human capital development indexes.
Fagbemi who was represented by the Kaduna state team lead, CCSI, Mal Ibrahim Abubakar said, the recent primary election in preparation for the 2023 general election has left so much disappoinment across the country as there were allegations bribery of delegates for vote, violence and intimidation.
He added that women participation in politics is not proportionate to the over 45% of the nation’s population which they represent, and this has not translated into equal representation in political leadership positions.
“Over the years, Women and Youth have been excluded from leadership and decision-making processes in Leaders.
“Therefore, there is a need for women and youth inclusion and participation. Women and Youth inclusion and participation mean equality in the representation of Men, Women and Youth in both numbers and the levels of decision-making”.
He said for emerging democracy in Nigeria to be sustainable, all groups within the population must be actively involved in governance
” Their voices need to be heard and their experience and expertise utilized for the optimal growth and development of the country”.
Also speaking, Head of Programme, ActionAid Nigeria, Hajiya Suweiba Muhammed Dankwabi said to participate fully in democracy in Nigeria, all groups must actively be involve regardless of religion, tribe in governance process in other to uphold the tenants of democracy.
She also urged all political parties to create space for women, youth participation.
In her remarks, the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)Head of Unit, Voter Education, Kaduna, Mrs.Rukaiyatu Imam thanked the organizers of the progrmame saying, it is timely and important, looking at 2023 general election which is near.
Mrs. Imam who sensitized the participants on the Continous Voter Registration said, INEC came up with new innovation that will make the 2023 general election more acceptable in line with global best practice.
She said in 2015, the commission used Smart Card Reader to identify and authenticate the Permanent voter’s cards(PVCs), the new innovation is the IVED machine, which means INEC Voter Enrollment Device(IVED) and is versatile with three functions.
” The first function: it is used for the Continuous Voter registration, it captures the facial and the biometric, initially we capture the two thumbprints, but now it captures the ten fingerprints when you go for registration; the second function is on the election day, we have software that is going to be inserted into the IVED machine, and the software is called the BIVAS, (Biomodal Voter accreditation System), this system authenticate all PVCs on election day, in essence of eliminating identity theft and multiple voting,
“And the same IVED machine will be used to transmit result sheet after election process and this is to eliminate result sheet snatching from aggrieved politicians, so we are going to transfer this result electronically”, she said.
She commended Stakeholders such as Traditional leaders, religious leader, women group, NGOs who have continued in their sensitization on the registration of Continuous Voter’s cards.
She said Kaduna state has recorded a tremendous effort on the Online registration having the highest turnout in the Northern Nigeria and third highest on the physical capture, however said 37.4% of the registration is marked invalid due to multiple registration
She therefore suggested on the need for sensitization of the citizens on the effect of double registration
While calling on the participants to pass across the dangers and implications as many will be disenfranchised.