As part of its mandate to promote and deepen good governance and effective representation across the South East of Nigeria, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has commenced the tracking and documentation of campaign promises by candidates for the 2019 elections across the zone.
This was the focus of a one-day CSOs training on documentation of campaign promises organised by CCIDESOR under the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) support fund. The event which held in Owerri, the Imo State capital was headlined by a foremost professor of Media Studies Prof. Dede Konkwo who x-rayed the evolution of electioneering in the Nigerian contemporary politics. Prof. Konkwo noted, that politicians have always reneged on their promises. He further stated, ‘the citizen has a responsibility to ensure that promises made during electioneering campaigns are kept.’ He went ahead to state guidelines through which this responsibility can be met.
Also speaking at the gathering, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Enugu State, Mr Emeka Ononamadu enjoined CSOs and other interest groups to be cautious of working with half-baked information. Mr Ononamadu who averred that this is an era of fake news which he pointed out could come from unexpected sources, while he encouraged participants to do research and double-checking of facts before deployment for whatever grounds. He particularly warned against depending strictly on information extracted from the social media. Some of the participants who spoke with newsmen also shared their views on the debates and reviews at the parley.
A youth representative, Mr Chukwu Udochukwu posited that the experience was an eye-opener for him as he realised the need to document campaign promises as a barometer to hold elected officers accountable. He berated the docility of the electorate whom he described as “going to bed after the elections.”
An advocate of women’s rights and good governance, Mr Israel Promise, agreed with other participants on the need to be expository and support politicians by pointing them to their campaign promises.
The Executive Director, CCIDESOR, Obidi Mgbemena noted that the event is first in a series of activities designed by CCIDESOR to engage stakeholders and the public in a robust and issue based electioneering process. Attendants were drawn from various states across the South East zone.