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AMENDED CONSTITUTION, ELECTORAL LAW MAY IMPEDE SMOOTH ELECTORAL PROCESS – NGO

By NBF News
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Anon governmental organization, 'Poverty in Africa Alternative' (PROVINAA) has expressed worry that the amended constitution and the Electoral Law may pose a great challenge to the electorate, thereby impeding the process of smooth participation of the people in the elections.

The Executive Director of the organization, Mr. Nebechi Ugwuozor, in a meeting of election stakeholders in the South -east geopolitical zone held at Abakaliki Ebonyi State, explained that the purpose of the dialogue was to heighten citizens awareness of and participation in the electoral process by Nigeria's population, including women, the poor, the disabled, rural people and youths, increased public awareness and confidence in the electoral process.

'Nigerians have promised themselves that the 2011 elections, unlike the previous elections in the country must be free, fair and that every vote should count. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has on many public fora echoed this wish for a successful 2011 election, as a result many institutional changes have taken place,' Ugwuozor stated.

The PROVINAA chief executive added that the purpose of the dialogue was also to highlight changes made in the Electoral Act 2010 and the effect of these changes on citizens' participation in the electoral process and allay fears on participation of the citizens, killing the culture of apathy in citizen's participation in the electoral process in the geo-political zone.

Ugwuozor expressed gratitude to Democratic Governance for Development (DGD) for their support which had enabled the organization to participate in the project as one of its implementing agents and commended the foreign agency for their interest in helping to ensure that acceptable democratic practices and good governance were entrenched in Nigeria's body politics.

He argued that if good governance had engendered sustainable developments in Europe, America and Asia, 'it should work for Nigeria and this should be the collective aspiration of the people from the South-east and other geopolitical zones of the country.'