Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has designed strategies and modalities to ensure that there is ‘Representatives’-Citizens’ engagement in the Southeast states of Nigeria.
Speaking during the strategy implementation meeting organized by CCIDESOR with support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that brought together stakeholders/ partners across the south Eastern zone, Nigeria, the Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Obidi Mgbemena noted that the essence of the meeting was to discuss and draw up strategies and approaches on how to implement the NED project, especially devising measures that will enable civil societies become more engaging in the affairs of the government especially as the 2019 general elections draw close. The meeting also took critical look at the political dynamics of each state represented to enable proper planning.
Mgbemena urged all and sundry to drive the project to success. He spoke extensively on the objective of the implementation meeting and further urged everyone present to commit to the project, see it as their own and work to ensure success is derived by the expiration of the project in May 2019.
Chigozie Uzosike, the Mobilization/Communication Officer of CCIDESOR took participants through the project Activities Analysis, enumerating the successes recorded so far by CCIDESOR as a result of their advocacies, engagement and citizens’ enlightenment since the commencement of the NED/CCIDESOR project. He expressed shock at the fact that some CSOs do not know their representative being reasons for the opaqueness of the government, however he believes that CSOs are doing their best but charged them to work hard to improve while requesting that the ongoing project should be approached with all sense of firmness if result must be achieved.
Suggestions on how to successfully implement the project to deepen democracy and entrench good governance across the zone were further made by participants as Barr. Temple Nwosu from Abia suggested that Advocacy for LG accountability should include a strong advocacy on amendment of some the constitution, especially on LG funds.
Ifeanyi Nwele from Imo suggested that communities should have an MoU with political parties/candidates on their charter of demand to avoid imposition of projects on communities. The charter can further serve as a tool of engagement with Reps for accountability.
Nwokocha Innocent also from Abia suggested that proper sensitization of traditional rulers, president generals etc should be carried out as well as differentiating their roles and ensuring responsibility.
Udochukwu Chukwu from National Youth Council, Imo state chapter noted that youths are left behind in issues like this, they do not have the capacity to engage their reps. He therefore suggested that youths should be enlightened on issues around governance and their capacity built to engage their representatives especially on accountability and transparency issues. He thanked CCIDESOR for the capacity training it has been offering to CSOs and the Youths.