As Nigerians go to the polls on Saturday, Africans Rising, a Pan-African movement of people and organisations working for justice, peace and dignity, has called on stakeholders in Nigeria’s electoral process to ensure a free and fair elections including securing the country to enable citizens to cast their ballots peacefully.
“Critical development efforts cannot succeed without a legitimate and democratically elected government that is responsive and accountable to its citizens. As over 90 million voters in the Federal Republic of Nigeria prepare to elect their president and representatives for parliament on Saturday, 25th February, 2023, Africans Rising would like to reiterate the need for peaceful, free and fair elections,” said the statement.
Africans Rising said for a country to be true democracy, citizens must have the opportunity to choose their leaders through peaceful, free and fair elections noting that Nigeria had recently experienced an unprecedented wave of overlapping security and economic crises including the prevailing cash crises occasioned by the roll out of new bank notes which had left many Nigerians without access to cash for food and other necessities.
“Election campaigns have been largely peaceful, but they have also been marred by misinformation, disinformation and the incitement of hate, as well as attacks on some candidates and the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commision [INEC]. Without free, peaceful and fair elections the country cannot progress and achieve its social, economic and democratic goals,” stated the group.
Moreover, Africans Rising called on the Nigerian government to address logistical challenges that could hinder active citizens’ participation in elections and called on political parties should avoid utterances that could incite violence before, during and after elections, noting that democratic elections and peaceful power transfer will allow the country to prosper and deal effectively with its current political and economic challenges.
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