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CAN outlines ways forward for true democratic process in Nigeria



Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has outlined measures that would enthrone a truly democratic and fair electoral process in Nigeria.

Hayab who spoke at a political symposium on Saturday in Kaduna, said to ensure a true democratic process in the country, there was a need for a collective effort from the government, political parties, civil society organizations, and citizens.

Speaking on the topic “Beyond the ballot: Assessing Nigeria’s post-election landscape”, Hayab noted that correcting electoral flaws in Nigeria was a complex and challenging process that requires concerted efforts of all concerned.

“There is the need to strengthen electoral institutions by enhancing the independence and capacity of institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure they can effectively carry out their duties, such as voter registration, voter education, and the administration of elections. This includes providing adequate funding, training, and security for the electoral staff,” Hayab said.

Suggesting a way forward towards achieving the set goals, Hayab said the government should “promote civic education and voter awareness by investing in comprehensive civic education programs to increase awareness among citizens about their rights and responsibilities as voters.”

“This includes educating voters about the importance of their participation, how to exercise their democratic rights, and how to prevent electoral malpractices.”

The CAN Chairman also suggested that steps could be taken to strengthen the legal framework and law enforcement by reviewing and amending electoral laws to ensure they are comprehensive, clear, and in line with international standards, advising that harming the electoral process should incur severe penalties by strengthening law enforcement agencies to hold accountable those who violate electoral laws and engage in corrupt practices.

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