Ford foundation calls for sanitization on Nigeria’s internal democracy

The Ford Foundation has called on urgent need  to  sanitize  Nigeria  internal democracy, pointing out that monetization  of the primaries of political parties and  electoral process is a big threat, which may  lead to power only to the highest bidder.

Penpushing reports that, the Regional Director West Africa of the world body,  Dr Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye, made the observation, as a panelist at the 6th edition of annual conference of Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) held in Lagos.

The foundation boss urged Nigerians to realize that there would still have to be a nation after election, and cautioned against reportage that can create bias, pointing out that the crisis of Rwanda and Ethiopia did not happen overnight

“Sanitising our internal democracy is now urgent. Monetisation of the primaries/electoral process is a big threat because it may lead to power only to the highest bidder. We must stop reporting to create bias. Remember Rwanda and Ethiopia did not happen overnight, they started gradually. It is the way the media pushed them till things went too bad. We need caution’, she stated.

Penpushing further reports that, Aniagolu-Okoye, emphasized that the 2023 election is being viewed around the world as not just a time to put people into offices but an opportunity for Nigeria to witness a turnaround and become a giver of opportunities instead of receiver.

The regional coordinator urged Nigerians to know that the elections would bring in people who may either make or mar their future, stressing that credible election is the backbone of any democracy, adding that, election is not just to pick leaders or just to get your man into position.

Penpushing also reports that, the philosopher and development expert revealed some privileged information showing that some Asian countries may have ordered ban of visa to Nigerians, stating that this meant a lot

‘This is as some Asian countries may have quietly banned further issuance of visas to Nigerians. This means a lot. It shows how Nigeria is regarded right now in most places out there. Nigeria is now below the bottom, not just at the bottom”, she said

Penpushing reports that Aniagolu, in view of this, appealed to those contesting elections to realize that there is the urgency to save Nigerians by rebuilding the nation because other countries may not have further space for fleeing Nigerians.

“Those contesting should know that they have a responsibility to rule well for everybody.  We all want to run to countries ruled by people we do not know, people who are not from our communities, who are not our brothers, but we trust them to do well enough for us and trust them enough to go to their place and seek jobs and scholarships. Have we ever cared to ask how we trust them? Do we work so others can trust our place and come to seek favour?”

Penpushing further reports that, she said the Ford Foundation, one of the biggest in the world, has set aside some support to help sensitise Nigerians towards better election in 2023 because of the criticality of the upcoming exercise, stating that, this is because elections affect all other things we may want to implement.”

The Director encouraged Nigerians to  stop claiming that the country  has nothing to celebrate at Independence Day, pointing out that deep reflection would show that Nigerians actually have cause to celebrate despite everything, adding that this is because we have proved wrong those who said we cannot rule ourselves.’

Penpushing also reports that, she commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on the new Electoral Act which is consider a quantum leap, adding that there is much that could be done with technology to sanitize electoral processes

“We need to commend INEC on the new Electoral Act which we consider a quantum leap. We must thank them for pushing and getting approval for use of technology. There is much we can do with technology to sanitise and improve our electoral processes.”

Penpushing reports that, she   however stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs to do more to cut down on paperwork at elections as is being done in other countries, emphasisng the importance of technology to replace ballot paper.

The foundation regional boss on electoral offenders, decaled that; there is need to hold culprits accountable and hold the police and the judiciary responsible to do what is right, warning that, else work of the electoral would go to nothing.

“Our electoral campaigns are too abusive, divisive, and banal. I urge GOCOP to do more on stopping irresponsible reporting, apart from fake news. There is news that is not fake but creates harm and threats.’

The expert called for quickening the process of picking permanent voters cards (PVCs) which are hitherto very hectic, and appealed to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to see what it can do to introduce a faster process.

Penpushing further reports that, earlier in her welcome address, the President of Guild of Online Corporate Publishers (GOCOP), Maureen Chigbo, said the 2023 elections would be very important to Nigeria and that electoral commission was very important in what happens at the polls.

The President used the opportunity to explain the critical roles of the online publishers and the huge efforts to sanitise the online space, and called on corporate bodies to support the body in this task by doing business with members members instead of blackmailers.

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