- Say No Campaign on Thursday, March 21, organised a capacity-workshop on social accountability tools
- The workshop was specifically for community anti-corruption working groups; a volunteer group set up by Say No Campaign
- The workshop exposed the volunteers to advocacy strategies that they can employ to ensure political answerability.
Civil Society Organisation, Say No Campaign, on Thursday, March 21 organised a capacity-workshop on social accountability tools for community anti-corruption working groups; a volunteer group set up by the organisation.
At the event, the convener of Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu, represented by the organisation's programme manager, James Ugochukwu, tasked community leaders to be active anti-corruption agents.
According to Nwagwu, the workshop will expose the volunteers to advocacy strategies that they can employ to ensure political answerability.
His words: “To these communities, an anti-corruption fight that does not address the root causes of corruption, such as unemployment and poor remuneration, or hold public officials accountable, does not serve the people.
“Therefore, community members want to see the fight against corruption translate into gainful employment for their qualified youths, improved social infrastructures and electricity, full implementation of project appropriated for, quality service delivery in public institutions, and public leaders who are answerable to the people.
“In taking ownership of the fight against corruption, these participants have volunteered to engage public institutions and officials, in their communities, in the demand for accountability, better political representation and improved public service delivery.
“Say No Campaign therefore, considers this an opportunity to encourage active engagement by communities and support independent voices in the demand for public accountabilty and good governance.”
On his part, the co-convener of the Say No Campaign, Jaiye Gaskia, noted that corruption acts affect communities more.
He challenged the community leaders to e at the fore-front in the fight against corruption, stressing that they must take ownership of the process and call out incompetent leaders.
He said: “When you talk about corruption, whether petty corruption or grand corruption, the people who are the receiving end, are ordinary people like you and I.
“So, if we are ever going to fight corruption and fight it effectively, even get government to get them to do what needs to be done, then it means that citizens must take ownership of the process.
“Communities have a role to play in this, because when we talk about all these projects, say education, the health sector, where are these things sighted? They are sighted in communities. When you build roads, they link communities. So, it's communities that are supposed to be the beneficiaries of infrastructural development.
“So, if the process of that happening is being shortchanged because people are siphoning what is expected to be spent on these things, people who are best placed to raise the red flags are community members themselves.”
Participants at the even also viewed a documentary on community advocacy presented by Follow The Money, an initiative of Connected Development, to intensify citizens engagement.
The highlight of the event was the drafting of the Community Charter of Demand, a policy demand to hep the community leaders with their advocacy.
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Meanwhile, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, through its Open-Minds Young-Voices Network, have kick-started a project termed 'ManifesTrack.'
This was revealed at a one-day workshop on Wednesday, March 20 with the media and CSOs on monitoring and tracking of campaign promises in Nigeria.
Legit.ng gathered that the aim of the project is to critically assess President Muhammadu Buhari's electoral promises (manifesto) to Nigerians in the next four years.
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