- As Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general election, Say No Campaign is preparing community leaders ahead of the poll
- The community leaders are being trained to participate in the activities of political parties in the interest of their communities
- A town hall meeting to prepare them for the task ahead was held at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
FCT, Abuja - Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has declared that political corruption is punishable under the electoral act.
This was stated by the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasonye, SAN who was represented by Mohammed Ashiru Baba; director, public enlightenment and education, ICPC at a town hall meeting hosted by Say No Campaign with support from MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.
The theme of the event attended by a Legit.ng reporter, was Building Community Resilience Against Electoral Corruption to Promote Good Governance.
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“Electoral frauds, ranging from vote-selling and vote-buying, ballot snatching, falsification or manipulation of election results are what we in ICPC consider political corruption and these forms of corruption are punishable under the electoral act.”
Baba also added that politicians who rig elections can't fight corruption when they get into office.
“Every citizen, from community leaders, members of political parties, the civil society groups, traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth organizations, the media, women groups, even the physically challenged has a pivotal role to play, not only as a potential voter but as monitor, to ensure that electoral processes are not high-jacked by hoodlums and their sponsors.
“Therefore, it goes without saying that efforts such as this, aimed at sensitizing the citizenry to wake up to their responsibility is a step in the right direction.”
Nigerians urged to show interest in politics
On his part, the director-general of the National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari said Nigerians must rise up against electoral heist.
He said in a statement delivered on his behalf by his special assistant, David Akoji:
“It is incumbent on us all to work towards strengthening our electoral system. This is a critical task that cannot be left to the government alone.
“We must raise our voices against electoral infractions. We must do this because we will all be beneficiaries when electoral integrity leads to good governance.”
Driving community interest in politics
Speaking earlier, senior programme manager of Say No Campaign, James Ugochukwu, said:
“The quality of leadership you get is a sum of how the electoral process should take place. Poor participation, poor demand, poor engagement has led to electoral corruption.
“So, the essence of this meeting is for us to sit down as community members, political parties, as government organisations and ensure that we come up with a template to work with in the next election, so that the people of FCT will be able to resist electoral corruption.”
There was also a goodwill message from Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council at the event.
Participants were also trained by resource persons on how to engage political parties, build community collaborations, promote effective political representation for their communities, curb electoral fraud in their domains and promote good governance within their society.
Recall that Say No Campaign on Thursday, July 8 held a dialogue with labour and trade union leaders in Abuja.
The theme of the event was: Positioning the unions as active drivers of anti-corruption in Nigeria.
Declaring the event open, Ezenwa Nwagwu, the executive director of Say No Campaign Nigeria, noted that the activism of union leaders is called to question when they are not solving societal problems.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that Say No Campaign Nigeria has taken its campaign for community participation in the fight against corruption to about seven states so far.
The organisation assembled round-table dialogues that sought to bring together trade unions and labor advocates to redefine the public service sector for efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
The dialogues are also geared towards deepening the focus of the union leaders on anti-corruption, offering encouragement, and providing networking opportunities in the struggle against the rampant abuse of public office.