News The African Way

Nigeria 2023: Make Candidates Document, Sign Campaign Promises – Citizens Task Electorates

.... PERL Bags Award Of Excellence

By Joseph Edegbo

As political parties set to elect their Flag Bearers to commence electioneering campaigns for the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL) has convened a One- day Roundtable session with citizens groups including women and media to set agenda for the election.

The objectives of the Session were to strengthen citizens voices including women and other excluded groups to articulate their demands that would be used in engaging the electoral representatives to account based on their commitments to the electorates.

It also strengthens media role on setting agenda ahead of the electioneering period, deepen conversations and agree strategies for tracking campaign commitment, using any available app or platform to be developed.

Having reflected on the last elections in Kaduna State as to what the civil society and media had done, the challenges and lessons learnt, the participants who have been brainstormed on relevant topics by resource persons including Adejor Abel, Yusuf Goje and Istifanus Akau, spelt out issues for engaging the 2023 election cycle.

These include articulating demands by citizens, women and excluded groups, suggested actions and activities for engaging general elections including party primaries.

Issues for media consideration in political agenda setting in Kaduna State and leveraging on existing social media platforms to sensitise and engage the electoral cycle.

Nigerians, the participants note, collectively needed to change the narratives by tracking commitments, service delivery, policies reform and budgets

While decrying empty campaign promises by candidates, the participants stressed the need for electorates to tell candidates what they need, even if possible to be documented in Community Development Charter, CDC.

Electorates, the participants emphasized, should not be interested in what they would hear from politicians, rather they should say what they their demands are.

It was observed that as the nation prepares for elections, a lot of people were not doing what was expected of them, hence the need to be sensitized.

While describing agenda setting as constitutional, that must be championed by the media, the Session reminded politicians that whatever position they occupy, is people’s mandate hence they would be asked of what they could deliver.

Assessing the character, credibility, compassionate and capacity of contestants should also be the role of the media.

Part of the event was the presentation of Award of Excellence to PERL by Women Monitoring and Leadership Initiative Nigeria, by its President and former Federal Lawmaker, Mrs Florence Aya.

Mr. Abel Adejor of PERL, receiving Award of Excellence from Mrs. Florence Aya of Women Monitoring and Leadership Initiative Nigeria

The Award which was received by Mr. Adejor Abel, PERL Kaduna State Team Leader, was in recognition and appreciation for Its exemplary support for the growth and development of the women group.

According to Mrs. Aya, PERL has been very supportive in several areas including capacity building resulting in producing a number of women mentors, developing manifestos, and public speaking.

A highly excited Adejor who was taken by surprise, reaffirmed the commitment of PERL to continue providing technical support to organisations which he said, was being appreciated and acknowledged by the State government.

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