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Tinubu's stance on electoral reform questioned ahead of 2027 polls

The Yiaga Africa report points out various worrying aspects, such as a drop in public confidence and uncertainty regarding the Tinubu-led government's position on electoral changes, court decisions, and regulations.

Bola Tinubu [Facebook]

The pro-democracy group has drawn attention to a significant finding from the Afrobarometer survey, confirming that a year after the general election, 23% of Nigerians express trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

These stats were contained in Yiaga Africa’s latest report titled, “Electoral Trust Restored? Nigeria’s Electoral Process One Year after the 2023 General Election,” which was obtained by Pulse on Monday, Apil 29.

This report offers a detailed examination of the current state of Nigeria’s electoral process subsequent to the last general elections.

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Dr. Hussain Abdu, Chairman of the Watching The Vote Working Group, and Samson Itodo, Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, jointly issued a statement regarding the report.

The report highlights several concerning factors, including a decrease in public trust, ambiguity surrounding the Tinubu-led administration’s stance on electoral reforms, judicial rulings, electoral laws, institutional autonomy, instances of electoral malpractice and impunity, and hindrances to electoral justice.

Emphasising that the report is the result of a year-long process of thorough research, documentation, and analysis of significant election trends, the statement underlines the urgency of addressing the crisis of confidence highlighted by the Afrobarometer survey, which revealed that only 23% of Nigerians trust the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Itodo said, “Trust in electoral processes is the bedrock of democratic legitimacy, and as such, Yiaga Africa calls for greater transparency and accountability for all election stakeholders.

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“We acknowledge the technological strides made by INEC, particularly with the BVAS. However, we encourage INEC to continue to strive for greater transparency and regular public engagement to rebuild and enhance the public trust.”

On the stance of President Tinubu, Itodo said, “Following the conclusion of election petitions, there is a public expectation that the President will present a definitive electoral reform agenda to restore trust in the process.”

He additionally remarked that the series of contradictory rulings from the courts have generated doubt regarding Nigeria's electoral legal system and exposed the judiciary to public mockery.

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