To contribute to the formulation, implementation and monitoring of key government electoral policies that ensure credible and participatory electoral processes through improved legislative oversight. CISLAC has undertaken advocacy and capacity building programmes for CSOs and other stakeholders to improve their participation in the electoral and governance processes in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. CISLAC believes that quality governance is hinged on credible electoral processes and the active participation of the citizenry at all levels. CISLAC through its engagement of the democratic governance processes in Nigeria has contributed through advocacy and other engagements towards the passage of several primary legislations such as the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP Act), various reviews of the Electoral Act and engagement with constitutional reforms. CISLAC, along with other civil society organisations campaigned and advocated for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act and the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. CISLAC is also among the movements advocating for the passage of such pieces of legislation like the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, Whistle-blower Protection Bill, Prison Reform Bill, amongst others. Specifically, CISLAC under this strategic focal area covered some of the following democratic governance engagements to improve the democratic processes in Nigeria – building civil society capacity for effective project management; gender mainstreaming and electoral reforms through advocacy with the government; promoting institutional independence of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission through civil society advocacy.
ONGOING EFFORTS ON DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE
Supporting Political Parties’ Reforms and Increase in Women’s Representation in Public Office through Advocacy for Policy and Legal Reform. This project is engaging with persons with influence in political party leadership to review all legal and policy instruments of target parties and develop gender equality guidelines to improve women’s participation in politics as part of efforts to address the above gaps and increase women’s representation in public office
SOME OF OUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Enhancing open civic engagement space: CISLAC, in collaboration with other civil society groups, has resisted several attempts made by the government to emasculate the civil society space in Nigeria. Attempts to enact obnoxious legislations that will whittle civil society engagement have not been able to scale through as a result of the various efforts of civil society of which CISLAC played a leading role.
Campaign against tenure elongation: Efforts by past Nigerian, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire governments to elongate the term limits constitutional ascribed had been foiled through partnership with the West Africa Society Forum (WACSOF). Impactful activities such as advocacy to legislature, rallies and protests were carried out which complemented other measures in ensuring that tenure elongation did not yield the desired fruit.
Strengthening Women’s Political Participation in the Electoral Processes in three LGAs of one state (Kaduna) in Nigeria: The Project supported women inclusion in politics. Under the project, over 100 women were recruited into political parties of their choices and the leaderships of ruling parties as well as other parties were trained for the purpose of affirmative action for women within their political parties. There was also consensus building for political parties and advocacy visits to the leaderships of various political parties.
Policy advocacy training workshop for NGOs working on health and reproductive health on the crises of maternal mortality in Nigeria (Women in Media and Population Leadership Program of the University of Washington, USA. This was aimed at providing skill for NGOs working on health and reproductive health and to draw the legislator’s attention on the crises of maternal mortality in Nigeria.
Building Civil Society Capacity for Effective Project Management, Gender Mainstreaming and Electoral Reforms through Advocacy with Government: The project sought to promote institutional independence of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission through Civil Society advocacy. Some results achieved include: Advocacy at the National and State Assemblies for the promulgation of human rights and people oriented legislation; assisted in mediating and resolving disputes arising within the electoral process; engaged in programmes that strengthened the legal system and guaranteed a free and independent judiciary and other democratic institutions; networked with groups and associations with similar goals and objectives.
Women Political Participation in Nigeria -The 2007 Elections: CISLAC carried out a research and published a book on women’s political participation in Nigeria. The Book examines the political successes and failures of women in the six geo-political zones, through direct interviews with female candidates who contested the 2007 general elections. It points out the numerous constraints which hinder Nigeria women in their efforts to contest elected posts. Overt male bias in the structure and running of the political parties, electoral violence, godfatherism, rigging, and the social-cultural prejudice against women candidates.