Peter Obi: Nigeria’s 2023 General Election Shameful

Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, has strongly criticized Nigeria’s electoral process, labeling it as “shameful” compared to South Africa’s recent elections, which he hailed as exemplary. Obi made these remarks in a post on his verified X handle yesterday.
Obi highlighted the stark differences between the electoral procedures of both nations, lamenting Nigeria’s ongoing struggles with democratic governance. He noted that South Africa’s election had about 60% voter turnout, over 90% of polling stations opened on time, and included diaspora voting, with real-time results and updates provided without technical glitches.
He wrote: “The outcome of the recent South African election results remains a shining example of what a transparent and efficient democratic electoral process should look like.
“With about 60 per cent voter turnout, over 90 per cent of polling stations opening on time, and allowing diaspora voting, the results and updates were provided in real-time without any technical glitches during the election. This demonstrated the robustness and transparency of their system. The seamless online dissemination of results further highlights their commitment to democratic principles and technological advancement.
“This is in stark contrast to the ‘show of shame’ that the giant of Africa, Nigeria, presented to the world in 2023. Nigeria’s 2023 election, with less than 30 per cent voter turnout and over 60 per cent of polling stations starting late, no diaspora voting, and plagued by allegations of fraud and widespread irregularities, experienced all forms of glitches despite enormous expenditure to the tune of about a billion dollars (direct allocation of ₦313 billion and donor agencies’ support).
“The process has been widely discredited. The differences between the two countries’ electoral processes are both stark and lamentable. South Africa’s Election Results Centre, with its state-of-the-art electronic board, showcased results with unparalleled precision and speed. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s electoral process is mired in controversy and lacks transparency. This glaring juxtaposition is a painful reminder of our country’s ongoing struggles with democratic governance.
“It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive electoral reforms to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and credible. We must learn from South Africa’s example and strive to build a system that restores the people’s faith in our democracy.
“The time for action is now, and we cannot afford to delay any longer in addressing these critical issues for a new Nigeria is possible!”
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