Still on the general elections of 2023…


President Muhammadu Buhari this week hailed the collective efforts of nations to address global security challenges and called for greater collaboration to control terrorism, banditry and insurgency plaguing nations including Nigeria. .

The President made the call when he received the credentials of the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador James Kingston Christoff and the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Alfred Miranda Oritz.

The president, who revealed that successes have been achieved in tackling insecurity with nations working together across borders, said more could be done with determination and a sustained attack on criminals, citing some of the debilitating effects of global challenges.

“The devastating effect of global insecurity, climate change and the post-COVID-19 era has devastated global economies,” he said. “Nations continue to struggle to recover from these multiple global challenges. The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has undermined the countries’ progress in food security over the past decade. As political instability in Libya continues to fuel terrorism in the Sahel, as well as scuttle democratic livelihoods in West and Central African regions.

The President lamented that Nigeria is not spared from unrest as it struggles to get rid of banditry, kidnapping, pastoralist/farmer crisis and insurgency. He, however, said the country is grateful to brotherly countries like yours “for supporting these fights until we overcome these challenges”.

Turning his attention to the regional level, the President said Nigeria was working with other ECOWAS Member States and other regional bodies to address issues of terrorism, cross-border crimes and unconstitutional changes of government.

“I believe that security issues have become the concern of all nations, because these challenges are beyond the ability of any single country to contain them effectively,” he said.
Ahead of next year’s general elections, the president urged Nigerian diplomats to monitor political developments in the country, but he pleaded with them to stick to their professional ethic of non-interference in the country’s local political affairs.

He said Nigeria was getting closer to its national elections and the election arbiter and party candidates had started their preparations for the elections in earnest. Soon, he said, political campaigns will begin across the country and politics will come to a head.
“As the campaign drums begin to mount, I urge you to be guided by diplomatic practice to ensure that your activities remain within the bounds of your profession as you monitor election preparations and the conduct of the general election. “, he said.

Of course, in many ways, the president’s appeal to diplomats not to interfere in the country’s electoral process is relevant because, from the interference of the Russian Intelligence Research Agency (IRA) in the 2016 US elections to a hack and leak operation targeting Emmanuel Macron, the design and timing of which showed a determination to disrupt the election, several spectacular attempts at election interference have been in the news recently, at a time when the misinformation has become a common political strategy.
Foreign interference includes activities beyond the routine diplomatic influence exerted by diplomats and their governments that may take place in isolation or alongside espionage activities. Such interference could take the form of openly supportive partisan statements and falsification of the authenticity of democratic debate, relying on hidden actors or proxies, behaving inauthentically, and propagating doctored or fabricated material.

Foreign interference in democratic processes, of which elections are the fundamental feature, can serve a variety of purposes, ranging from achieving a certain preferred outcome to a more general objective of increasing polarization, violating the security of the information and ultimately undermine democratic institutions.
As the president tried to suggest, fears of foreign interference in the election are not misplaced. Partisan electoral interventions (i.e. attempts by foreign powers to intervene in an election to determine the identity of the winner) are a common form of interference that usually has significant effects on targeted election results in the manner desired by the speaker.
Such foreign interference can also frequently cause serious damage to the targeted country. However, while it is difficult to completely stop or deter foreign powers from interfering in this way, Nigeria, aside from the President’s warning to diplomats, can significantly reduce the chances of such Foreign interference affects election results.

To do so, the Buhari-led administration should increase legal penalties for collusion, promote public education on the subject, monitor the use of electronic voting or vote counting in elections, and ensure that votes are not only expressed, but also matter.

How will Nigeria’s monitoring and evaluation policy work?

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a new policy for institutionalizing the practice of monitoring and evaluation in Nigeria.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this and said the program would be known as the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy.

According to her, the policy aims to improve the socio-economic development of the country and the well-being of the citizens.

“The policy sets out a framework for institutionalizing the practice of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to promote good governance, learning and accountability for results,” she said, “which will help to improve the socio-economic development of the country and the well-being of the citizens.
Undoubtedly, this development could hardly have come at a better time than now, when studies around the world have begun to reveal effective methods for evaluating projects that aim to improve governance and accountability.

Monitoring and evaluation in the public sector where government officials are the beneficiaries of programs aimed at improving the efficiency of service delivery is an important and complex area of ​​M&E.

Often, system failure occurs between different spheres of government or between ministries and entering this space with development solutions requires a particular and in-depth understanding of the history of these institutions.
When multiple stakeholders are involved, it is important to understand how to best allocate roles and responsibilities that are in line with workplace requirements and legislative frameworks, while creating space for improved practice and collaboration.

Fortunately, the Minister said that the policy clarifies how M&E should be conducted in the country, specifies the position, institutional and financial arrangements and modalities for feedback, especially from citizens, so that decision makers can effective use of evidence by government and stakeholders. to inform policy strategies and investments.
Helpful, the minister said the policy was developed in close collaboration with 36 states of the federation, development partners, members of academia, experts and monitoring and evaluation associations in Nigeria.

In the end, however, it should be noted by the minister and, indeed, Nigerians, that while much work has been done at the global level to define indicators of good governance, the use of these is still highly contested. . This is partly because of the difficulty of defining what good governance looks like and partly because of the growing awareness that measuring governance is itself a political process.

So, while there are standards for measuring what constitutes good governance, African countries should not develop the complexity and measure the performance of their governments by the yardstick adopted by the Americans and Europeans.
After all, relying heavily on a crude oil mono-economy since the 1970s, Nigeria still seems blind and visibly uninterested in global pull and a shift to cleaner and cheaper sources of energy, including economic diversification, even when the era of ‘oil’ is ready, food is ready,’ is over.

Only a total realistic reform would allow Nigeria to get out of the vicious circle of structural traps and stimulate the geometric variable of competitiveness expected in a federal structure.
Such development would result in coherent dialectical economic development, guided by inclusive diversification, empowerment of entrepreneurial growth, addressing the infrastructure deficit, and the reassessment and revitalization of the education system, all under visionary leadership. .

Nigeria is, without a doubt, sitting on gold and perhaps does not need the details of Western textbook analysis and development criteria to harness and utilize its resources for development.


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