The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has raised the alarm that desperate and disparate political actors that are out to win at all costs, would pose a sizeable threat to electoral integrity in 2023, despite technological advances.
The organisation also noted that worsening insecurity across the country remains a threat to the poll.
CDD’s Director, Idayat Hassan, in a statement, yesterday, observed that the 2023 elections would be one of the most challenging elections to be conducted in the country, which is battling diverse, complex challenges.
According to her, Nigeria may be experiencing its longest run of uninterrupted democracy, but the quality of it remains very much in need of improvement
She said: “Boko Haram conflict that defined the 2015 election is yet to be quelled, but with bandits operating across the North West, violent secessionist agitation spiralling in the South East, and farmer-herder clashes ongoing across the country, the 2023 election is set to take place amidst nationwide insecurity.
“The 5 June attack on a church in relatively stable Ondo State, in South West Nigeria, which saw more than 50 people killed, was a stark reminder of the insecurity challenges that will affect the safety of election materials and personnel, and a major challenge for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
“Ahmed Tinubu, 70, and Atiku Abubakar, 75, are now the frontline candidates in the forthcoming elections and both have significant war chests at their disposal. They previously worked together in 2007 when Tinubu’s party, the Action Congress, fielded Atiku, then outgoing vice-president, as their presidential candidate, and in 2015, when both were frontline promoters of the APC. However, with 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population being youth, and with many among that generation disgruntled with the ruling class following events such as the #EndSars protest against police brutality, the prospect of an intergeneration divide widening is clear.
“Potential third forces that could increase the likelihood of Nigeria’s first-ever presidential run-off are Peter Obi, 60, who withdrew from the PDP primary contest and will now run as the Labour Party flag-bearer, and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, 65. While Obi has cultivated a significant online following among younger voters, Kwankwaso is equally popular among youth in his native Kano State.
“The attempt to create a formidable third force seems to have been midwifed as the Peoples Redemption Party, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), National Rescue Movement (NRM), Nigeria Labour Congress have all agreed, for now, to an alliance to run under the banner of the Labour Party. A joint Obi-Kwankwaso ticket could shake up the presidential race.