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Nigerian elections: making votes count

May 2011

As over 140 million people continue to vote in the Nigerian elections this week, how are Christian Aid partners making sure that their votes count?

Building voter confidence

Nigeria Our partner Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) works with vulnerable groups in south east Nigeria to make sure people are aware of their voting rights. 

It works particularly with women, young people and people living with disabilities to ensure that they vote this year. For many people, particularly people living with disabilities this is the first time they will vote.

Previously, people have not voted as they have little confidence in the electoral process. To challenge this, JDPC organised intensive voter education campaigns in churches, markets, and other public places. They also raised the profile of the elections through producing and distributing posters to encourage people to vote.

Raising awareness and ensuring transparency

Prior to the elections, JDPC brought candidates from various political parties together to show case their manifestoes to the people.

They also used local radio and other media to share this essential information. JDPC have also trained an incredible 300 voluntary election observers to monitor 150 polling stations throughout April to make sure that the voting process is fair.

Expectations

Project staff from JDPC are hopeful that the electoral process will be a success. They report that for the first time politicians are campaigning rigorously to reach communities rather than relying on vote rigging to ensure their seats.

There are fears however that there could be increased police violence over the election period.

More about the JDPC

JDPC is part of the Global Transparency Fund (GTF) programme, funded by DFID.

Working in 10 countries with 16 partners, the project aims to strengthen the capacity of vulnerable and marginalised groups to demand their rights, participate in government processes, and hold local and national authorities accountable.  

Read more

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