Skip to main content

How High Costs Of Nomination Forms Exclude Women, People With Disabilities From Contesting Elections In Nigeria

The group said in Nigeria, it is fighting for greater electoral inclusion to encourage women and people with disabilities to participate more in governance.


Accountability Lab, a global trans-local network championing good governance in countries, has said the high costs of nomination forms by political parties have continued to discourage women and people with disabilities from participating in the electoral process in Nigeria.
In a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Monday by Kibo Ngowi, its global marketing and communications officer, the group listed measures it is putting in place to protect the civic rights of people across several African countries including Nigeria.


According to the statement, "much remains to be done at the level of protecting civic space in Liberia, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Niger and West Africa as a whole."

The group said in Nigeria, it is fighting for greater electoral inclusion to encourage women and people with disabilities to participate more in governance.
The group said Nigeria ranks among the worst countries on the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report.
The statement reads, "In January 2021, just 10.3% of ministerial positions were held by women in (three out of 29) and just 5.8% of parliamentary seats were held by women- thus ranking Nigeria 149th (out of 155 countries) on political empowerment on the 2021 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report.
"A lack of equal representation in decision-making structures is a common problem throughout West Africa and the global south for various reasons, but AL Nigeria has identified one crucial reason this status quo remains entrenched in Africa’s most populous country.
"The high cost of obtaining party nomination forms keeps underrepresented groups such as women, youth and people with disabilities from contesting elections. The AL Nigeria team’s Gov-Her-Nance program is aimed at promoting women’s civic participation and inclusive gender-sensitive policy-making at both local and national levels.
"As part of this programme, the team hosted a series of radio programmes where members of the public shared their perspectives on what can be done to achieve greater levels of inclusion.
"One of the most interesting pieces of feedback from these engagements was the insight that many of the policies hindering the representation and participation of marginalised groups in the Nigerian governance structures have been instituted by political parties.
"Recently, some political parties have set the price of their nomination forms for the upcoming 2023 elections at millions of naira, politically excluding thousands of Nigerian citizens.
"In a similar vein, the Nigerian Senate approved an increase in election campaign spending across the board - up to 400% in some cases - allowing spending of up to 5 billion naira for presidential candidates and 1 billion naira for Governorship aspirants.
"This systemically casts women, youths and PWDs, who are already at a financially disadvantaged position, further from representation and participation in decision-making processes. One of the solutions suggested was the formation of political pressure groups by marginalized citizens to make their voices heard."
Explaining how the group is trying to bridge the gap, Prince Chiramoke, AL Nigeria communications Officer, said, “From the communications end, we are developing content around the forthcoming elections for our social media platforms to inspire citizens to get their Permanent Voters Card, vote for a credible candidate, “vote not fight” and “don't sell your vote” among other election themes.
“Beyond this, we are working with Well-Versed to begin a monthly music challenge to get young music artists to develop music around election themes and support the winners to come into the studio to produce the selected song for the month. The produced songs will be shared online on music streaming platforms and with some of our radio partners.”
Shiiwua Mnenga, AL Nigeria Project Officer, added, “We are currently running a project which focuses on inclusion and gender and we have been having sessions on access to public buildings by PWDs in line with the provisions of the Prohibition Against Persons with Disabilities Act in Nigeria. We have also been supporting the passage of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill before the National Assembly.”
AL said other of its activities outside Nigeria include galvanising youth to advocate for peace in Liberia, advocating for the inclusion of women in decision-making processes in Guinea-Bissau, strengthening trust between citizens and local authorities in Mali, and using the courts to hold power holders to account in Niger Republic.