1 June 2011
In spite of the recent violence that haunted the elections in Nigeria, our partners report that the election process was more transparent than ever before.
Reverend Martin Onukwuba, the Executive Director of our partner Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), recognises that while there were problems, there is renewed confidence in the electoral system. He says that now people know that when they vote their vote will count.
He reports that the ballot boxes were well monitored, pre-election activities meant people were more aware of parties and their policies and that grassroots organisations really rose up to challenge the politicians.
Most significantly, JDPC has seen a large increase in young people engaging in the elections. JDPC works specifically with sidelined groups for example, women, young people and people living with disabilities.
It is encouraged in the region it works as in many of the seats are occupied by young people as they put themselves forward and were elected.
However, there is recognition that there is still much work to be done, particularly with people living with disabilities, to ensure that everyone’s voices are heard in the electoral process.
To the future
Looking to the future, Reverend Onukwuba stresses the importance of continuing to work to ensure that elections are free and fair.
‘Fair elections are the bedrock of democracy, without elections we can not say that Nigeria is democratic.’
He also highlights that significant sums of money were spent on the election, and it is therefore essential that Nigeria benefits directly.
More about JDPC
JDPC is part of the Global Transparency Fund (GTF) programme, funded by DFID.
Working in 10 countries with 16 partners, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable and marginalised groups to demand their rights, participate in government processes, and hold local and national authorities accountable.