Nigeria Election 2023: INEC has operationally disenfranchised millions of Nigerians – Effiong


Head of Research at SBM Intelligence, Ikemesit Effiong, says Nigeria’s Independent Electoral Commission has failed to project the country as a democracy worth emulating.

According to him, with the gradual waning of democratic norms and values across the West African sub-region as evidenced by recent coups, Nigeria’s general election was expected to serve a counter example to the West African region.

However, the exercise, he says, has failed largely due to the ‘INEC operationally disenfranchising millions of Nigerians.’

His comment comes on the back of allegations of vote rigging and fraud against the INEC by some political parties and electorates.

This follows inconsistencies in the election management procedures and processes as laid down by the INEC.

Speaking on PM Express, Ikemesit Effiong, stated that the failure of the INEC to address the gaps in their electoral processes to ensure a free and fair election is a dent on Nigeria’s democratic credentials.

“Almost everybody here on this panel is a creature of some form of military dictatorship or military rule right across West Africa. And the fundamental imperative – and this is why a lot of resources, a lot of institutional capital was invested into INEC in order to conduct this exercise – was that Nigeria was supposed to serve as that counter example to all that we’ve been seeing in the Sahel and all that we’ve been observing right across West Africa over the last two to four years in showing that it is possible for an African democracy to wrestle with the difficult questions of trying to build and strengthen and deepen the democratic norms, and actually succeed.

“And INEC has thrown this out of – I’ll like to put it this way, INEC has operationally disenfranchised millions of Nigerians, and there’s no easy way to put it. And so really when you square what has happened over the weekend and sort of the trickle flow of results and where Nigeria goes from here through the rest of the week into next week…the signs aren’t really looking very good right now,” he said.

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