‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – As the preparation for the 2023 general election continues, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has appealed to civil society stakeholders to join the fight against transactional activities in the electoral process to restore the integrity of democracy in Nigeria.
Director General of the Agency, Dr. Garba Abari who received a team from the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (Africmil) said the scourge of vote buying and selling has become a dent on the practice of democracy in the country.
The Africmil team was in the Agency to discuss possible collaboration on the use of Corruption Anonymous (CORA) Whistle Blowing plaform in promoting anti corruption reporting in the electoral process. The Corruption Anonymous project seeks to support the whistle blowing policy of the Federal government by expanding reporting mechanism for cases of corruption and other wrong doing.
The NOA Director General said civil society stakeholders have a strong role to play in deploying its many platforms and designing activities aimed at understanding government policy on anti corruption, voting rights and procedure for the greater awareness of citizens. “One area that we must all work on is to educate our people on the dangers of transactional behaviour in the electoral process which includes vote buying and selling” he said.
He bemoaned the widespread abuse of the electoral process by political parties, political actors, voters and sometimes the electoral officials, saying the collaboration would ensure that the camapign reaches the remotest parts of the country.
The Africmil team was led by Kolawole Ogunbiyi, a Senior Programme Manager who explained that the Centre shares the concern of NOA on the dangers of electoral corruption, hoping that the collaboration will help to generate data of electoral corruption flashpoints and models prevalent in Nigeria. She also justified the choice of NOA for the partnership saying its widespread structure recommended it strongly .