An international civil society organisation, ActionAid Nigeria, has insisted that the celebration of democracy in Nigeria would remain an illusion without the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
Besides, the group is worried over the imbalance in internal politics across political parties that exclude women, young people and Persons With Disabilities (PWD) in the country’s democratic and governance processes.
The Programme Director, Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo, spoke yesterday, at its conference to commemorate Nigeria’s 23 years of uninterrupted democracy in Kano.
Suwaiba said the celebration presented an opportunity to reflect on the journey since the return of civil rule.
She, however, agreed that such a moment must also be used to access the impact of the rule of law, protection of fundamental human rights, freedom of speech and expression as well as access to justice.
She declared that for a country to attain full-scale democracy, citizens, regardless of age, gender, tribe and religion, must be actively involved in governance.
Suwaiba regretted that Nigeria’s democratic processes had continued to engender barriers against the participation of women, young people and people with special needs in processes of governance.
She urged the youths and women to break the prevailing barriers limiting their participation in politics by obtaining their voter cards to choose their candidates in the 2023 general elections.
“ On this day, let history have it that Nigerian women and youths have refused to stay quiet in the face of exclusion and rights denial. Let it be known that we salute the courage of women and youth groups present here today who have swung into action to vote and be voted for.
“ ActionAid Nigeria is implementing a campaign for the inclusion of women and young people in political and governance processes also referred to as the We-You Project, with funding from Foreign Common Wealth Development Office (FCDO). The campaign seeks to strengthen the relationship between citizens, government and politicians in Nigeria, that will engender an inclusive and responsive democratic process”, Suwaiba noted.