The federal government was urged to restore voter and population confidence in the country's democratic process.
This was the unanimous call of experts during a webinar organized by the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Abuja, saying that voters' confidence in the electoral system can only be revitalized if necessary measures are implemented to ensure transparency.
The webinar with the theme “Democracy backtracked in Africa, the 2019 elections in Nigeria was supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, West Africa
In his presentation, Dr. Musa Ibori, from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Abuja University, opined that the 2019 elections may express the beginning of the setback for democratization in Nigeria.
He said the current government still has a chance to regain voter and population confidence in the democratic process.
He, however, said that the burden is left to civil societies to strive to build democracy out of their deviations.
In his presentation, Professor Gani Yoroms of National Defense College said the election is a process and not an end in itself.
He said, therefore, that the democratic process should be more consolidated than reversing the gains already obtained, emphasizing that one of the ways to guarantee transparency in the electoral process is to guarantee the independence of the electoral body, which can only be guaranteed if it is financially independent. .
He said: “The independence of the electoral body can only be guaranteed if it is financially independent. No serious democracy can flourish in an atmosphere of insecurity. While citizens must be protected to express their franchise freely, electoral institutions must also be protected and strengthened to meet their objectives.
“Voter confidence in the electoral system can only be revitalized if the necessary measures are taken to ensure transparency. The use of the electronic voting system can go a long way in increasing voter morale.
“There should be a regular interface between critical stakeholders, such as government, political parties and civil society organizations, on how to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections, without threats to security and intimidation.
The election is like a national referendum. No candidate should be imposed on citizens, in order not to give opportunity to those who feel modified to jeopardize the nation's security. "