A non-partisan and non-governmental organisation, #FixPolitics, has activated the Office of the Citizen, OOTC, Nigeria, to sensitize and mobilise Nigerians to actively participate in next year’s general elections.
At the ceremony in Ikeja, Lagos, during which the #FixPolitics logo was also unveiled, the Chairperson, Dr Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili explained that the OOTC initiative was an offshoot of a research she conducted into the poor quality of politics and dominant political culture in Africa which subjugate the good in everyone and the need to fix it right from the grassroots.
“Even those who are not yet connected to the idea that politics can be different and that they as citizens can I fluence political outcomes, they will be more mobilized to be part of the political process and not just in terms of elections, but what happens after elections, this is the time for citizens to finally say, I, as a citizen, I am important, I will no longer vote for people who will go and misgovern” she said
Dr Ezekwesili who pointed out that apathy and lethargy of the Nigerian citizens in the past enabled the political class to monopolise democracy, expressed delight that there’s already a shift and the launch of the OOTC would further accentuate the quality of citizens engagements to make democracy more competitive.
She said “Because a competitive democracy is what leads to better quality of governance of the citizens of any country and we now know that without qua mylity governance, we are not going with development”
In a remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the the School of Policy and Governance, SPPG, Alero Ayida-Otobo explained that the process is beyond 2023 as Community Organisers would be at work until the desired change is achieved.
“What we are doing is for the future, the next ten to fifteen year, starting with 2023, it is critical that we raise community organisers that can begin to influence the electorate from now, educate and empower, the role of the SPPG is to empower the people to recognise who to elect into leadership positions, to recognise the criteria for Character, Excellence, Competence and Capacity” Ayida-Otobo explained
On his part, the Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State, Mr Tonye Cole stated that from all the efforts being made by various stakeholders, the people’s vote would count in 2023.
Earlier while welcoming participants, the Chair of the Work Study Group, in charge of the OOTC, Bolatito Aderoju stressed that the advocacy would bridge the knowledge gap between what citizens know and what they are supposed to know in the next few months to enable them hold those they elect accountable.