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Electoral reform: We've fired opening shot — Chima Christian

Tuesday May 07, 2024 9:00 am

Chima Christian
By Chima Christian
Lagos,   Features



I'm pleased to report, on behalf of Africa's Morning Centre For Public Policy And Good Governance, that God helped us with the tenacity and grit needed to fire the opening shot of the electoral reform efforts as championed by the Electoral Reform Working Group as implemented by Africa's Morning Centre For Public Policy and Good Governance.

This first leg involved scanning through the length and breadth of Nigeria's constitution - the whole 320 sections. We afterwards isolated all the sections that either directly or indirectly regulate the conduct of elections in Nigeria. There were 65 of such sections. We then sat on these 65 sections, going over them repeatedly to understand the intents of the drafters of that constitution.

We also looked at these sections to see how they have impacted the electoral processes and outcomes of the past 25 years. It was this comparative study of the constitution, reviewing the intent with the actual outcomes that helped us further isolate 14 sections of the constitution that we found to be of immense material impact to Nigeria's electoral space..

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

We ideated on these 14 sections, reflecting on the issues of the previous elections, and also projecting on the possible issues of future elections. We came up with a few ideas that will substantially improve the outcome for Nigerians. We turned these ideas into draft pieces of legislation that was handed to the House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Ammendment. Feel free to download the submitted memoranda here: https://tinyurl.com/Reform-Proposals

This leg of the project cost us a little above 2 million Naira. Of this sum, we received public donations from 11 selfless Nigerians amounts totalling N471,436. We had to wing and self-sponsor the rest. We are immensely grateful to these individuals for the support. We thank those who sent their ideas, and others who offered us in-kind support including hosting us on their media platforms to freely discuss these issues and mobilise public support for them. We are also indebted to the individuals who made mention of our work to potential donors and partners. May God richly reward you.

No words can aptly describe my gratitude to God for the team at Africa's Morning Centre For Public Policy And Good Governance, and my family for their incredible sacrifices without which the story would have been different. For instance, it was our 8th marriage anniversary during the course of the work. But I had to be far away from home in the service of this duty to God and His people. For the few that have ever met my family, please hug them till they turn blue anywhere in the world you see them.

When a friend asked me, “Chima why are you doing this?” Without thinking I responded to her that the present struggle is to hand our generation and the ones coming after us the gift of a credible electoral system that will help us collectively determine the future of this richly endowed country.

Ideas are not enough, we must pay the full price for the birthing of those ideas. That is why we are not stopping at just recommending public policies. Be sure that the back-channel consultations, war plan, media advocacy, and all the efforts required to get the whole gamut of Nigeria's legislative system to pass these ideas into law have already commenced. To preserve the sanctity of the mission, many of these efforts will not be published. We will be sure to provide periodic updates on the 10% of our work that can be shared publicly.

There are two other sets of laws governing the conduct of elections in Nigeria; the Electoral Act and Election Guidelines as issued by INEC. Those are respectively the second and the third legs of the electoral reform efforts as led by Africa's Morning Centre Electoral Reform Working Group. The fourth and most important leg will be the painful sacrifices to insist that these reforms when made are respected at all costs.

The President of Senate, God'swill Akpabio

By the mercies of God, 2027 will not be a repeat of 2023. All the sacrifices required to put a stop to the brazen kidnap of the collective destiny of the country will be made.

We will be in ongoing need of material support to continue with this important work of re-designing Nigeria's electoral space. It's not enough to complain about the abnormalities, we must roll up our sleeves and do the work. Yes, it's daunting given the enormity of establishment interests. But it can, and MUST be done!

Please consider sending your support through any of these channels. It will go a long way to keep our feet on the pedal;

Guarantee Trust Bank Nigeria PLC


Naira: 0887380579 | USD: 0892134066

Pounds: 0892134073 | Euro: 0892134080

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Africa's morning is at hand.

Chima Christian

_Executive Director, Africa's Morning Centre For Public Policy And Good Governance

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