In one of my editions, I did mention that the civil society organisations should upscale their advocacy and engagement with elected representatives for more robust and inclusive governance. I am happy that Alliances for Africa (AFA), a non-governmental organization has gone far in ensuring that mainstreaming of accountability, social inclusion, anti-corruption and transparency in governance becomes the rule and not an exception.
Now that they have started, the media professionals and other CSOs who are the guarantors of governance birthed with free and fair election must watch and ensure that democracy does not deviate from its journey of delivering social basic amenities to the citizenry.
The Journalists and CSOs need to amplify their demand for accountability, social inclusion, anti-corruption and transparency towards 2023 election in Imo State and beyond.
Alliances for Africa (AFA) with support from Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) and MacArthur Foundation who are championing this good governance cause had the objective as “to improve knowledge and intensify media voices and demands in advocating for accountability, social inclusion, anti-corruption and transparency.
Good governance according to Prof. Sam Ezeanyika ensures citizens compliance to rules and policies, adding that democracy is not a new wife to be acquired, it is a way of life of a people through socialization, it is learning by doing and a culture. He said that the media should ensure that there is accountability, social inclusion, anti-corruption and transparency in governance by their reportage, stressing that the media has the duty to change the narrative. He equally blamed the citizens’ lack of engagement and involvement in governance especially as it concerns engaging the elected representatives on ‘collective amnesia’.
He urged the media to always unearth governance issues that have been swallowed by the myriads of reportage and draw attention to them for leaders to know that the citizens are not forgetful.
Lilian Ibeh of the Alliances For Africa (AFA) hinted that given that election is by the corner, there’s the need to activate the consciousness of both the elected representatives and citizens to think of issues of governance that will be beneficial to all and sundry. She called on the media professionals to continue to speak up in their different fora to ensure that accountability, social inclusion, anti-corruption and transparency are mainstreamed in governance. She described the media as more powerful than they know, adding that they can correct the ills of governance through their reportage.
Alliances for Africa (AfA) with support from the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) and Mac Arthur Foundation is implementing a project targeted at strengthening support for anticorruption, ensure social inclusion among critical groups and strengthen policies and programs aimed at reducing corruption in Imo state.
The overall goal of this advocacy is to reduce corruption in Nigeria by bolstering support for anticorruption, and social inclusion among critical groups and strengthening policies and programs for anticorruption at the state level in Nigeria as the country prepares for elections in 2023.
It is expected that at the end of the day, AFA would have reduced corruption in Nigeria by educating and mobilizing citizens’ groups and galvanizing support for anticorruption among political parties, frontline candidates, and critical interest groups and networks involved in the 2023 electoral processes in select states.
The organization would have succeeded in demanding for anti-corruption and accountability in the political platforms of candidates and political parties at the state level, advocated for the state level anti-corruption agencies; to demand for gender and social inclusion in the electoral and constitutional reform process at the state level, especially that there would have been a demand for affirmative action and social inclusion on the platform of candidates and political parties including appointive positions;
The efforts will not be relented until the demand for the implementation of new and existing laws, policies and programs that enhance greater representation of women, youths and people living with disability in governance is brought to bear.
AFA with the support of CISLAC and MacArthur Foundation wants to spread anti-corruption messaging, accountability and broader governance challenges into public consciousness during the elections so that voters need to consider anti-corruption and accountability in their decision to vote for a political party/ a candidate.
This consciousness has been lost over the time due to docility and lukewarm attitude of citizens. I applaud AFA for this initiative and call on others to step up.
One voice demanding for good governance may not be enough, we need congregation of strong voices demanding for accountability transparency and social inclusion, so that if the elected representatives did not hear AFA, they will hear the other. Let the demand for good governance hit their auditory perception so hard, from all flanks like never before especially as the elective period comes near.
This will ensure that frontline contestants for the office of the Governors and State Houses of Assembly in selected states articulate their anti-corruption stance and plans for tackling corruption, improving transparency and citizens‘ involvement and other governance challenges, ensure accountability, transparency and social inclusion at the state levels in the electoral reform and constitutional amendment process, monitor the effectiveness of upholding affirmative action and social inclusion in the political parties.
To achieve all of these, there is need for more vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women-led and youth-led groups, media, FBAs, age grades to actively participate in and demand for accountability and transparency in the electoral processes to prevent corruption and violence throughout the elections processes. As the politicians are strategizing on their election plans let the citizens also mobilize to meet them at the table upon which good governance shall be the only matter of discuss.
By: Chigozie Uzosike