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Three Key Lessons Nigerian Govt. Should Learn From Kenyan Presidential Election Ahead 2023

With the conclusion of Kenyan presidential election and declaration of Williams Ruto as winner of the keenly contested poll, there is need to dig into certain developments that are worthy of emulation by other African countries for the good and progress of the entire continent politically.

Although, some skemishes which arose from the poll are still in contest and may possibly change the current narrative if the claims of the two election commissioners are anything to consider.

The two commissioners have refused to accept the result saying that they could not support what they described as “Opaque vote counts.”

Williams Ruto was declared winner after he narrowly scaled through with 50.49% to defeat his closest rival, Ralia Odinga, the opposition leader who scored 48.85% of the total vote cast.

Nevertheless, the election has come and gone and what is in focus right now is what really happened during the proceeding.

In the entire process, three things were noticed and they must be emulated by Nigeria ahead of the next general election scheduled for February 2023.

The first is the issue of prison inmate voting. This system was adopted in the recently concluded Kenyan election and it sent a clear message to Nigeria.

Despite being convicted for crime against the law of the country, Kenyan prisoners were accorded the privilege to vote for the candidate of their choice during the election. 

As at today, there is no anytime prisoners are offered this opportunity anywhere in Nigeria. Once anyone is locked up in a correctional center, he is completely cast away from the society and denied the opportunity to be part of the decision making process in the country. 

Prisoners voting which was observed in Kenya should be embraced in Nigeria ahead of 2023.

The second thing is the Diaspora voting. This agitation has been going on in Nigeria but it has not yet been pushed at the National Assembly. 

Millions of Nigerian are living abroad and they seem very interested in the political activities of the country but because of the distance and nature of their engagement over there, it is impossible for them to come and be part of the process.

In Kenya, their citizens in other countries were allowed to vote and their votes were transmitted into the portals of their electoral commission. Their votes counted and they were part of the process of choosing their new leaders despite not being in the country.

Diaspora voting should be encouraged in Nigeria in order to broaden the political system.

The third thing Kenya did that need to be looked into in Nigeria election is the system of shutting down the entire nation on election day.

During the Kenyan election, people were allowed to move freely. There were vehicular movements and commercial activities were not restricted. Despite the electoral process, the inflow of money into government cofer was not affected.

This is unlike Nigeria where the entire nation is on its knee whenever election is conducted. The nation conomy will be in standstill. Movement of people is restricted and everything is on suspension until election is over. At the end of the process, billions of naira is sacrificed on the altar of electoral process.

Nigeria should borrow a leave from Kenya over their just concluded presidential election.

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