The Executive Secretary and CEO of Caritas Nigeria, Rev Fr Uchechukwu Obodoechina unveils today, February 24, 2023, the Situation Room of the 2023 General Elections.

The exercise goes with a Press Statement on the 2023 General Elections.

A copy of the Press Statement is reproduced below: Click to download a copy of the Press Statement


Gentlemen and Women of the Press!

1. Ever since the return to democratic Governance in 1999, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has witnessed momentous elections, most of which come short of meeting international and regional best standards of freedom, fairness, genuineness, and credibility. The overarching electoral infractions include various degrees and dimensions of vote buying and inducement, snatching of the ballot boxes, thuggery, violence, under-aged voting, overvoting, and non-adherence to the provisions of the statutes as they concern campaign finance and use of state resources. Others are the challenges posed by unending litigations, opaque conduct of primary elections, and undue pressure on the Independent Electoral Commission (the INEC).

2. It is saddening that the atmosphere in which elections are conducted in Nigeria is always toxic and unpredictable. It appears as if the country is preparing for war. The degree of violence and destruction of life and property is always scary. People are desperate and would end at nothing but victory at all costs. The required decency and decorum that should characterize such a delicate patriotic exercise are thrown to the winds. As a result, some of the elections in Nigeria emerge from the courts more than from the ballot boxes. But democracy would be more strengthened when the wish of the people are reflected in the choice of their leaders. Nigeria remains a country where might and wealth determine the outcome of the elections rather than the simple wish of the electorates. Yet, such people who so emerge, are often least prepared for the task of good governance. It has always been leaders who are proficient in playing identity politics and weaponizing ethnicity, poverty, and religion, against the dictates of the Constitution, for their own selfish interests

3. Consequently, Nigeria has remained the poverty capital of the world despite its enormous human and material resources. But every passing day throws up more uncertainties: fuel scarcity, dearth of the local currency, policy somersault, and scarcity of basic necessities of The average household income has dangerously plummeted. In fact, life in Nigeria has really gone down to its lowest ebb. The Nigerian style of leadership is horrendous. It forgets quickly that sovereignty belongs to the people and that governments are established in trust to serve the common good of society. Bad leadership has been the bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment.

4. Amid all these, the voice of the Catholic Church has never waned. It has been at the forefront of promoting accountable and responsible leadership. Especially in strengthening democracy, good governance and the electoral processes, the Church has maintained an unassailable moral compass in her prophetic roles in applauding good practices and denouncing their opposites. For the 2023 general elections, the Church has put measures and structures in place to ensure free, fair and credible The deployment of expertly trained Election Observers and the establishment of the Situation Room for the collation, and analysis of reports and data are significant steps in that direction.

5. Election observation as the name implies, is an exercise in political and civil rights as well as a veritable tool for improving the quality of elections in different democracies around the world and in Nigeria in particular. Election observation helps in detecting and deterring electoral fraud and tracking them when they occur. It helps in the correction of errors and irregularities before, during and, after elections, thereby building trust in the electoral processes and giving legitimacy (or otherwise) to any governments that would emerge. It also promotes civic engagement and citizen ownership of the political processes.

6. For these reasons, the Catholic Church in Nigeria, through Caritas Nigeria, has undertaken the following lines of actions designed to support and strengthen the electoral process.

  1. Deployed 6000 (accredited and citizen) Observers in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. This is the highest number by any single mission in Nigeria in this election.
  2. She has developed and deployed a Mobile Election Observation App. This would be used by all the deployed Observers in tracking and reporting the relevant activities during the election across the 57 dioceses in Nigeria. For this feat, she is grateful to her development partners, especially CAFOD and CRS.
  3. In using the Mobile App, the Church is implementing the Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) system which will assist in the authentication of the accuracy of results as announced by the It tracks the results and compares same with the official INEC publications. Besides, the Mobile App is designed to track, report, and analyze on-the-spot incidences around the polling and collation centers.
  4. A Situation Room is Constituted

Finally, remember, it is our bounden duty to participate actively in the electoral process, in electing our leaders and in holding them accountable before the people's parliament. While urging INEC and its collaborators to remain neutral and impartial in the electoral processes, we call on the government of Muhammadu Buhari and especially the security architecture of this country to do all within their powers to ensure free, fair and credible elections, that would usher in a new dawn in our national political history and advance for posterity, the course of our national development!

Kindly, ensure you vote and vote wisely!


Revd. Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina Ph.D

National Director, Department of Church and Society & Executive Secretary/CEO, Caritas Nigeria

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