From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Civil society organizations in Kaduna State have established an issue-based campaign agenda for political candidates in the state and unveiled a tracking website ahead of the 2023 general election.
Leader of the Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) Coalition in the State, Yusuf Goje said, “One of the critical things we have done has been to critically examine the 2019 elections that ushered in the current administration at both the state and federal levels.
“For example, out of approximately 84 million eligible voters that year, only 27 million cast ballots and a mere 15 million of those votes brought that administration to power.
“In Kaduna State, only about one million out of 3.9 million eligible voters, 1.9 of that number voted and about 1 million votes were cast in the current administration, so citizens and their potential representatives must address the issues as we head towards 2023 general elections.”
Former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Florence Aya lamented the persistent low representation of women in politics, “only about four female candidates out of 18 passed the recently held party primaries, which are not good enough.
“Thus, we call for the support of Kaduna voters to ensure that all women are reinstated in the assembly for better representation of women in governance. Yes, people should ask their candidates what they have in store for them by setting an agenda so voters can approach them after the election.
Co-Chair, Citizens Arm, Open Government Partnership (OGP), Hadiza Umar, who spoke through Joshua James, thanked the organizers for organizing the event which she said would enable citizens to better involving candidates for the 2023 elections.
“The time for good governance has arrived and we must leverage the OGP platform to hold government officials to account as we engage in thematic campaigns before and after elections,” she said. declared.
Nuru Goro Shadalafia KSHA, Member representing Kagarko in the Kaduna State Assembly, said, “We look forward to greater engagement with the house to see that OGP engagement is strengthened and leveraged. for the benefit of the good people of Kaduna State.
“I want us to be very open to asking good questions. Issue-based campaigning is what is in vogue right now and any candidate who cannot tell citizens how issues of security, poverty, health, agriculture, education, etc. will be discussed may not get their vote.
Speaking earlier at the engagement which was facilitated by Partnership for Issues-based Campaign in Nigeria in collaboration with Partnership to Engage, Learn and Reform (PERL), Team Leader of PERL in Kaduna State, Abel Adejor said, the one-day public dialogue with candidates on the agenda for next year’s general elections has become necessary to ensure citizens and their representatives are on the same page. in terms of priority of needs.
According to him, “it is important that the candidates know the aspirations of the citizens because the time is over when political representatives were content to embark on public projects without asking the intended beneficiary what their priorities were.
“We have invited about fourteen of them here and we are looking at how citizens can constructively engage candidates in the general interest of their respective and collective communities and not ask for resources for personal use,” he said. he declared.
Participants in the dialogue meeting include former, current and potential legislators, market women, people with disabilities, women leaders, media and civil society organizations.