The Center for Democracy and Development, CDD-West Africa, said Monday that politicians should be required to publicly disclose their sources of income to foster accountability and build public trust.
He said the three reports released by CDD were intended to assess Nigeria’s performance against some basic attributes of democracy and socio-economic transformation over the past two decades.
He said the first report examined data on the human rights situation in Nigeria, while the second report questioned Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts by X-raying the activities of anti-bribery agencies and the third report examined the economic plans of the various administrations in Nigeria.
Ms. Hassan said that for each of the reports, the CDD made some recommendations asking that to prevent corruption, legislators should collaborate with anti-corruption agencies and commissions to enact laws that affect the prosecution of corruption cases.
Given the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency, lawmakers should amend vital legislation to address concerns about virtual money laundering.
“The National Assembly should revise the Law of the Office of the Code of Conduct to allow the public disclosure of the statements of assets of the officials without jeopardizing the privacy or security of the officials.
“Nigeria’s international partners should support national efforts by taking stronger measures to deter the theft of public funds and prevent illicit financial flows.
“Finally, our third report recommended that Nigeria needs economic policy reforms, especially diversifications so that the main macroeconomic variables can be controlled.
“This is urgently needed more than ever due to the economic and fiscal challenges caused by the collapse in world oil prices caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Ms. Hassan said that to address the issue of human rights violations, the report urged the government to guarantee the safeguarding of constitutional guarantees of human rights.
He said that the security forces must be effectively trained and regulated in this area to avoid human rights violations.
It added that the federal and state governments were urged to take note and implement the pertinent recommendations of various reports from human rights panels.
He said that Civil Society Organizations could contribute to the training of security professionals in conducting ethical civic-military operations.
He also urged the media to prioritize investigative journalism that focuses on human rights issues to draw public attention to abuses and help hold the government to account and educate the public on their human rights and avenues. repair.
He said public participation in governance is also critical for a democracy to ensure that citizens demand their fundamental human rights and are held accountable for any violations.
Ms. Hassan, some of the main findings of the report showed that more than 70 percent of the prison population in Nigeria was made up of detainees awaiting trial, and more than 20 percent awaiting trial for more than a year.
The report also showed that Nigeria had not performed well on all the human rights indicators used, despite using the core indicators.
“This trend, he said, even deteriorated with the fact that there is now an emerging trend of security officers receiving orders from elites in Nigeria to hold detainees longer for false reasons.
He added that the threat of illegal detention has become quite widespread, requiring the intervention of a special ECOWAS court in some cases.
Hassan said the report condemned the extrajudicial killing of innocent Nigerians as seen since the advent of democracy in 1999.
Ms. Hassan said that to address the issue of human rights violations, the report urged the government to safeguard the constitutional guarantees of human rights that they vowed to uphold.
However, he said the report called for public participation in governance to ensure citizens demand their fundamental human rights and are held accountable for any violations.
Professor Adebayo Olukoshi, Distinguished Professor at the Wits School of Governance at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. In delivering his opening speech, he said that the purpose of democratization must be redefined.
Mr. Olukoshi said Nigeria should be able to deliver development and job opportunities, adding that if it fails to do so, the nation’s quest to strengthen and consolidate democracy would amount to jumping in the same place without progress.
He urged political parties to be more programmatic rather than pursuing personal goals and the kind of politics of God’s paternalism.
“This report for me is an attempt to offer a balance of the road we have traveled since 1999.
“In the early years of our transition, we made quite significant progress. Subsequently, our story becomes one of poor performance in the governance of democracy.
“There has been a gradual closure of civil spaces and the recruitment of civil liberties in the country, including the restriction of freedom and independence of the media.
“Despite the best efforts of the electoral management authorities, we have seen a continuous attack on electoral integrity in the country. Therefore, the fight to make the vote matter is still alive. ”
In his comments, INEC Commissioner for Niger State, Prof. Sam Egwu, described the report as a profound reflection on Nigeria’s journey over the past 20 years, as well as having a very authoritarian undertone.
” We have seen civil and political liberties flourish, regular and periodic elections with some degree of improvement.
“We have seen a certain degree of competition and acceptance of defeat, but we have not been able to bring so many benefits to people in terms of material improvement.
“We have been blindly trying to build a liberal democratic order that has not taken into account the importance of the well-being of the people,” he said.
Mr. Egwu said that it was necessary to really question Nigeria’s type of democracy and, at the same time, improve our elections, thinking of a type of democracy that would implement measures to empower ordinary citizens and lift them out of poverty.
He also called for the need to work on national unity and integrity and try to develop a liberal democratic order.
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