Activity Report: Citizenship, Democracy and The Culture of Transactional Politics in Nigeria confrence.
Date of Activity:
November, 13th – 14th ,
Youth Leaders and Influencers from all geo-political zones in
In June 2018, the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation in collaboration with the Olusegun Obasanjo
Library convened a retreat to explore the drivers of tension and indentify strategies to address
them. Audience interaction established the link between corruption and divisive conduct in Nigeria.
The Yar’Adua Foundation recognized the opportunity to sustain the conversation by bringing
together stakeholders, youth leaders and influencers to develop strategies to track divisive
behavior and encourage positive participation in the 2019 Elections.
The transactional nature of Nigerian politics is a major driver of corruption and ethno religious
tension. Clientelism (the exchange of goods and services for political support) remains the culture
in Nigeria. The absence of institutional mechanism to legitimately finance political parties and
candidate campaign means that politicians must rely on often illicit and always opaque funding to
acquire and retain power. These resources are frequently used to mobilize ethno-religious
sentiments or unleash violence against opponents.
A national conversation on the culture of transactional politics and its impact on participatory
democracy and accountable governance in Nigeria is imperative.
Purpose / Objective of Activity:
Bringing youth leaders and influencers together to; develop strategies to track divisive behavior
and encourage positive participation in the 2019 Elections.
Brief Summary: The conference which was convened by the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation
was a two day convening of Youth Leaders and influencers from all the geo-political Zones in
Nigeria from 13 th to 14 th of November, 2018 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja. The
objectives of the conference was basically to develop strategies to track divisive behavior and
encourage positive participation in the 2019 Elections and the content of sessions featured in the
conference to achieve its objectives were very educating, informative and sensitizing. It enabled
participants understand transactional politics from an enlightened view point and commit to
countering it as a medium that perpetuates corruption. The conference featured a break out
session, where participants were grouped into interfaith networks, Professional Networks and
Social Networks; to develop strategies for sharing information, hashtags for reporting incidents
and effective election observation.
IhuomaChidire, represented Alliances for Africa (AfA) under the SheGoverns Campaign platform at
Increased awareness and understanding of the connection between transactional politics
and poor governance outcomes in Nigeria.
Increased knowledge on strategies for sharing information and effective election
Networking of youth leaders and influencers as ambassadors to promote national cohesion
and counter divisive behavior.
After the conference, I did a little survey by engaging participants and inquiring what impact the
conference had on them. I discovered that 90% of participants I engaged were now willing to
vote for political candidates based on credibility and capacity and not on anything offered them by
such candidates or the candidate’s political party or religion or ethnicity. The engaged participants
all agreed this reasoning was a result of sessions featured in the conference that addressed the
issues of positively engaging in the 2019 Elections.
Flowing from the above, it is recommended that AfA replicates this conference in South
East/South South Nigeria for Youth Leaders and Influencers to engage and sensitize young
persons in these regions centered around the theme on countering divisive behavior and
transactional politics and encouraging positive participation in the 2019 elections.
Also AfA can convey a conference of her mentees under the SheGoverns Campaign with
the theme centered on countering divisive behavior and transactional politics and
encouraging positive participation in the 2019 elections.
AfA can further incorporate the theme on countering divisive behavior and transactional
politics and encouraging positive participation in the 2019 elections in her community or
state outreaches in the five South Eastern states to promote national cohesion and
discourage divisive behavior.
AfA should use her social capital in communities to promote inclusive narratives that foster
a shared national purpose.