Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights, CCIDESOR has participated at the dialogue on how to strengthen democracy as well as to encourage public participation in governance organized by National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
The aim of the forum CCIDESOR gathered was to bring together citizens and their various elected representatives to discuss on how to ensure that elected representatives relate with their constituency.
The forum which held in Owerri had CSOs, Armed Forces, Various Political Parties’ Youth wing, Women group, House of Assembly members, CAN and the Media in attendance.
In his remarks, the Programs Director of CCIDESOR, Igwe Chidi said there is need for synergy between elected representatives and their constituents if democracy and good governance must be entrenched. He also mentioned the roles expected of armed forces in ensuring a free and fair election in the forth coming 2019 general elections.
Hon. Mike Iheanaetu, member representing Aboh Mbaise expressed disappointment at the low turnout of elected officials at the forum. He mentioned that democracy in Nigeria has been threatened by armed forces who political leaders now use to threaten those who dare to speak up against corrupt or undemocratic activities in the nation.
The Commissioner of Police represented by Polinus Asokwa, ACP new Owerri noted that the police force is handicapped in Nigeria, they lack necessary mobilization to effectively carryout their obligations, he however encouraged citizens to report corrupt practices while the police investigates then take necessary measures. He concluded by stating that the Nigerian police force should be empowered and their capacity built to operate effectively for security of citizens and votes come 2019.
The Programs Director, of CCIDESOR, Chidi Igwe has said that the essence as always of establishing Citizens Accountability Assembly is a selfless assembly born to pilot advocacy for accountability in every level of government in the LGA. The Assembly would serve as a voice to the voiceless; shall ask relevant questions about the completion of uncompleted/abandoned projects which might/have become social/environmental hazard in their various forms of dilapidation and abandonment. He also added that the activities of this assembly shall raise a standard against every intending abuse of public office, funds, or projects.
Identifying with Chidi Igwe’s speech, Mr. Ben Anyanwu (CCIDESOR Partner and Convener of Ngor-Okpala Accountability Assembly) added that CCIDESOR had come to the LGA following the training of some people on accountability and economic literacy (by CCIDESOR), to inaugurate and empower them to softly pressure Govt. and to deliver democracy dividends.
He admonished them to ignore the antics of politicians who would always cook lies and serve them fresh during political campaigns, only to shut their doors after winning elections. He also pointed out that the LGA does not receive their own share of democracy dividends due to the painful fact that there is no one to speak out or ask the right questions, but embraced the potential hope in the new Assembly that would certainly bring the overdue positive change.
Mr. Leo Kanu, the P.G Eziama Autonomous Community Ngor-Okpala noted that it would be impossible to know the state budget since there is no access to such a sensitive document. It is from the contents of the state budget that the assembly will know the rightful allocation of Ngor-Okpala before commencing advocacy. Secondly, he asked to be clarified about the legitimacy of the Assembly considering the nature of their activities? Chidi Igwe (of CCIDESOR) reassured him that CCIDESOR would always make ready such sensitive documents to her partners. He additional clarified him on the legitimacy confusion stating that, “the nativity of the assembly members automatically makes legitimate their activities. (The Assembly Members are meant to be from the same local government (Ngor-Okpala), and are programmed to carryout advocacy within the LGA alone.)
Rising from their election observatory roles, the Civil Society Organizations, CSOs who monitored the election noted that the November, 2017 Anambra State governorship election which has come and gone was all a win win situation for the people.
The members of Citizens Accountability Assembly (CAA), Ebonyi State, whose functions are to give collective voice to citizens and engage government to demand accountability have advocated for automated Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Southeast leaders have been charged to ensure that they are transparent and accountable in their drive to develop their zones.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations, under the auspices of Citizens Accountability Assembly (CAA), anchored by CCIDESOR has described the failure of the Imo State Government led by Owelle Rochas Okorocha to present the 2018 budget as insensitivity to one of the most important document that drives development of a state.
A huge step has been taken towards the institutionalization of open and participatory budget process in Imo State after CCIDESOR and its open budget cluster paid advocacy visits to the Imo State Head of Service, The Clerk, and the Chief Whip of the House of Assembly. (more…)
18 members from our Citizens Accountability Assemblies- CAA have been trained on how to carry out effective budget survey on budget system in Imo State and strategies on how to gather the opinions of citizens using the scorecard instrument, of which the data would be used for engagement with the elected representatives.
CCIDESOR was on hand with several other Civil Society Organizations to share her experiences and success stories, having been one of the beneficiaries of the PIND CAPABLE training since 2015.
In ensuring that open budget becomes a reality in Imo State, the Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights, CCIDESOR has moved to collect over 1000 signature petitions from citizens of the state.