Open Alliance, a coalition of civil society organizations working to improve openness and accountability in government, vehemently condemns the ongoing trend in the 10th National Assembly’s endorsement of partisan individuals as State Electoral Commissioners. This disturbing pattern undermines the essence of free and fair elections, creating distrust among Nigerians in the democratic process.
It is worth noting that appointing partisans of an election party is dangerous and consequential to Nigeria’s democracy. The National Assembly, entrusted with the vital duty of upholding the integrity of our electoral system, exhibits a lack of respect for the principles of impartiality, fairness, and credibility of our electoral processes when it endorses individuals with known partisan affiliations to supervise state-level elections.
Open Alliance firmly believes that the cornerstone of any healthy democracy lies in free and fair elections. Partisan State Electoral Commissioners not only compromise the integrity of the electoral process but also jeopardize the fundamental rights of all citizens to participate in an unbiased and transparent election.
It is important to note that this assembly is setting up this fragile democratic system for failure in the near future; Nigerians hope for the freedom to vote under fair circumstances and choose qualified people to represent them in various electoral offices. However, when the processes look biased from the planning stage, Nigerians will have no choice but to lose the little trust left in the electoral process.
We call on the National Assembly to immediately cease the ratification of partisan individuals as State Electoral Commissioners and uphold their constitutional duty to safeguard the democratic principles of Nigeria. We fervently hope that the National Assembly will take swift action to rectify this situation and restore public trust in the electoral system.
Accountability Lab Nigeria
Budget Transparency and Accountability Initiative Nigeria (BTAN)
Cedars for Human Welfare Initiative (CEHUWEI)
Center for Peace Education and Community Development
Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE)
Community Alliance for Good Governance
Development & Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation (DIG Foundation)
Engage Diaspora Foundation
Eyeeoma Development Initiative
Gee Foundation for Social Justice and Development (GFSJAD)
Initiative for Social Development in Africa (iSODAF)
Neighbourhood Environment Watch Foundation
Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI)
The Meluibe Empowerment Foundation
Upline Centre for Development (UCD)
Youth Emancipation & Rehabilitation Foundation (YERF)