Yiaga Africa Statement on Nigeria’s Electoral Process: One Year after the 2023 General Election

Monday, 29th April 2024

For Immediate Release

Yiaga Africa is proud to announce the publication of its latest report, “Electoral Trust Restored? Nigeria’s Electoral Process One Year after the 2023 General Election,” a comprehensive analysis of the state of the electoral process following the last general elections. The report is a culmination of one year of rigorous research, documentation and analysis of key election trends. Yiaga Africa closely monitored unfolding events in the electoral process, particularly the off-cycle elections of 2023 and the subsequent bye-elections and reruns in early 2024. While there were incremental improvements in election management and logistics, Yiaga Africa is compelled to highlight trends that cast a long shadow of doubt on the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process.

The report paints a picture of declining public trust, questionable political will for electoral reform, institutional challenges, unchecked electoral misconduct, intentional obstruction of electoral justice, declining voter turnout, and evolving jurisprudence on electoral matters. These trends are a stark reminder of the fragility of Nigeria’s democracy and they underscore the urgent need for comprehensive democratic reform.  The documented cases of election manipulation, violence and brigandage in states like Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo, as well as the widespread inconsistencies in the judicial pronouncements, raise grave concerns about the commitment to democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law. The prevalence of attacks on INEC officials, pre-filled result sheets, political thuggery, violence and reports of inflated turnout figures call into question the credibility of electoral outcomes and undermine public confidence in democratic institutions. These trends reveal a challenge in our political culture and it constitutes an affront to the Nigerian electorate.

  1. Decline in Public Trust: The Afrobarometer survey’s findings that only 23% of Nigerians trust the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) signify a crisis of confidence that must be urgently addressed. Trust in electoral processes is the bedrock of democratic legitimacy, and as such, Yiaga Africa calls for greater transparency and accountability for all election stakeholders. We acknowledge the technological strides made by INEC, particularly with the BVAS. However, we encourage INEC to continue to strive for greater transparency and regular public engagement, to rebuild and enhance the public trust.
  • Unclear stance of the Tinubu-led administration on electoral reform: One-year after the general election, the Tinubu administration is yet to declare its stance on electoral reform. Following the conclusion of election petitions, there is a public expectation that the President would present a definitive electoral reform agenda to restore trust in the process. Yiaga Africa call on the Tinubu-led administration to articulate and implement a definitive electoral reform agenda. The commitment of the Presidency to support and assent to legislative efforts to reform the electoral framework is critical to restoring public trust.
  • Judicial Pronouncements and Electoral Law: Yiaga Africa acknowledges the importance of judicial pronouncements in shaping electoral jurisprudence. However, the legal inconsistencies and the conflicting judgements that surfaced post-election are of great concern. The judiciary must conduct an introspective audit to rectify the inconsistencies and legal discrepancies that have contributed to a decline in judicial trust among the Nigerian people.
  • Institutional Independence: The perceived capture of the election management body through partisan appointments undermines INEC’s integrity. Yiaga Africa stands firm against any form of political interference that compromises the neutrality and independence of electoral institutions.
  • Electoral Misconduct and Impunity: The culture of electoral impunity, highlighted by instances of attacks on INEC officials, pre-filled results sheets and violence at polling units, poses a significant threat to the rule of law and democratic order. Yiaga Africa insists on stringent measures against electoral offenders to deter future misconduct.
  • Obstruction of Electoral Justice: The obstruction of legal processes and the tampering with electoral evidence are unacceptable. Yiaga Africa urges the judiciary and security agencies to protect the sanctity of electoral materials and the legal rights of all stakeholders to seek justice.

Electoral Trust Restored? Nigeria’s Electoral Process One Year after the 2023 General Election is now available and can be accessed at https://yiaga.org/publications/electoral-trust-restored/.

We believe that the findings and recommendations contained in the report are a vital resource for rethinking Nigeria’s democratic process.

Yiaga Africa stands ready to support a process of genuine reform that will rebuild confidence in our electoral system. Nigeria must not falter in its journey towards a truly democratic nation where the wishes of citizens expressed through the ballot are protected.


Dr. Hussain Abdu                                                                              Samson Itodo

Chair, Watching the Vote Working Group                                      Executive Director

Yiaga Africa                                                                                        Yiaga Africa     


For media inquiries, please contact:

Mark Amaza, Senior Communications Officer, Yiaga Africa

Tel. +234 (0) 810 321 662 | Email: mamaza@yiaga.org

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