Ekiti Post Mortem: Yiaga Africa Charges CSOs on Solution Activism

Ekiti Post Mortem: Yiaga Africa Charges CSOs on Solution Activism

  • Civil society organisations have been urged to champion the course of ensuring transparency in electoral practice
  • Election observer group, Yiaga Africa made this call recently during an interface with the electoral stakeholders and CSOs in Ekiti state
  • According to Yiaga Africa, the post-Ekiti election engagement forum is to evaluate and reflect on the successes and challenges faced during polls

Ekiti, Ado - The Ekiti Governorship election may have been won and lost but Yiaga Africa has charged residents of the state to lead a drive towards solution activism rather than lament over challenges of democracy.

Board member of Yiaga Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu made the charge on Monday, during a post-election debrief meeting with the leadership of the Civil Society Organisation and the media in Ado-Ekiti.

YIAGA Africa, Ekiti Polls
Board member of Yiaga Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu addressing CSOs and other electoral stakeholders in Ekiti. Photo: YIAGA Africa
Source: Facebook

Speaking during the meeting, Ezenwa said, the post-election engagement with election stakeholders is not a meeting of lamentation but an opportunity to reflect on the successes, challenges, and lessons learnt from the Ekiti election and explore pathways to providing a solution to tackle the challenges experienced during the election.

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According to him, the meeting further assesses impressions from the Ekiti elections in relation to citizens’ participation and perception of electoral integrity, elections security, and conduct of INEC.

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He said the Ekiti Governorship election has posed a new challenge to CSOs and with the quality of minds in the sector, we must devise new ways to tackle emerging challenges of vote buying in our elections.

According to him:

“What Yiaga Africa is doing is what we call, political socio-reverse engineering to reflect on what we can to tackle vote buying both from the moral and legal ground”.

"Poverty should never be a justification for vote buying and selling" - Yiaga Africa

He however said, CSOs must never excuse electoral crime no matter how subtle saying poverty should never be a justification for vote buying and selling. He further advised that CSOs should lead post-election engagements around budget tracking and demanding accountability.

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During the meeting which also had Chairman of the Coalition of Ekiti Civil Society Organisation, (COESCO) Prof Christopher Oluwadare, Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists Rotimi Ojomoyel, and Chairperson of National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) amongst other CSO representatives, stakeholders reflected on their partnership in the election and identify opportunities for sustainable electoral reforms.

He commends the effort of CSO and media in educating citizens and campaigning against voter inducement while also commending the technological interventions Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has returned the power of the vote to the people.

In his reaction, COESCO, Professor Oluwadare revealed that, the coalition set to commence an online post-election survey to enable citizens to access the quality of the just concluded election while proffering recommendations to improve citizens’ participation in the process.

CSOs to commence mainstreaming of electoral education

He also said, in a bid to further educate citizens on the electoral process, CSOs in the state will commence the mainstreaming of electoral education starting with the analysis of the 22 Electoral laws.

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He said CSOs in the state will intensify their engagement with INEC and security agencies in a bid to ensure their recommendations were implemented especially ensuring inclusion and participation of People with Disability (PWD).

Chairperson of NAWOJ, Fatima Bello commended Yiaga Africa for providing the platform for election discussion. She urges the CSO community to continue to engage in constructive discussion on electoral reform in order to increase citizens’ participation in the process.

On his own part, NUJ Chairman, Rotimi Ojomoyela said the media has a fundamental role to play in boosting citizens’ participation in the election.

While lamenting the role poverty played in voter inducement, he said if the media and CSOs make a concerted effort in demanding good governance and ensuring dividends of democracy, this, according to him will reduce poverty and encourage informed citizens’ participation.

He also revealed that the NUJ in Ekiti state has developed an initiative called “manifesto to commitment” saying the initiative is aimed to remind Governors and other leaders of their electoral promises and make sure they fulfill them.

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In another development, external stakeholders and interest groups have begun preparations ahead of the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria.

A collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yiaga Africa has been brokered to ensure a smooth-running election at the 2023 polls.

However, Nigerian youths have been implored to take advantage of their numbers and decide the outcome of the 2023 polls.

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Also, Yiaga Africa in a similar collaboration with OXFAM Nigeria under the #RunToWinNG project staged a convergence of youths to sensitize them on the values of electoral and political participation.

At the event, youths were tasked to use their potential for their gains and participate in the electoral process.

According to Yiaga, the whole idea of the #RunToWin festival was to provide support to younger people to contest and win elections and also inspire younger people to register and vote in the forthcoming election.

Source: Legit.ng

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