A two-day Electoral Reform Roundtable organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Geneva based Kofi Annan Foundation held on the 19th and 20th of June 2019 in Abuja, has called for the immediate implementation of electoral reforms in light of the shortcomings observed in the 2019 Nigeria General elections. The Roundtable supported by the European Union and Government of Switzerland called on Nigeria to take urgent steps well ahead of the next elections in 2023 to reform its electoral laws and system. Participants at the meeting included the National Assembly, INEC, Nigerian Army, Police, security agencies, political party leaders, Nigerian and international Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), diplomats, the media, etc.
Giving the keynote remarks at the event, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris-Wase expressed willingness of the National Assembly’s to embark on passage of reform laws to enhance Nigeria’s elections. In the opening ceremony, Situation Room Convener, Clement Nwankwo stated that the purpose of the meeting was to share knowledge that will enable Nigeria organise elections it can be proud of. Alan Doss, founder of the Kofi Annan Foundation in his remarks underscored the importance of sustainable democracy in Nigeria, reiterating that Nigeria’s democracy sets the tone for the rest of the African continent. Mrs. Anne-Beatrice Bullinger, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Swiss Embassy stated that electoral reform requires combined efforts from INEC and other actors. The Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlson noted that the dialogue on electoral reform was coming at an ideal moment and asked that recommendations made at the meeting be worked on, to yield results. Mohammed Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to West Africa, emphasized the need to increase the number of women, youths and Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs) in elective positions in coming elections.