2023: Time to Redefine Politics – Stakeholders

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Stakeholders in Kaduna State said 2023 elections is the best time to redefine the true meaning of politics in Nigeria.

The stakeholders drawn from politicians, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Market Women, People Living with Disabilities, Community Development groups and the Media came to a conclusion that politics is not a game but leadership.

This position was held during a Public Dialogue with Candidates on Agenda Setting for the 2023 General Elections, organized Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn in collaboration with the Agenda.

According to one of the panelists, Hauwa Gambo, who is a candidate for House of Representative, “strong leadership can only be built by committed people.

“People have the notion that politics is a game or business, no, politics is leadership and it is time for us to redefine it.”

Organizers of the event had presented some demands expected for  anyone planning to take up leadership in the country.

Among them is improvement of infrastructure investment in the education sector, improved security, and safe spaces in schools to enhance a conducive learning environment.

Implementation of the State Inclusive Education Policy and enact and fully implement girl-child education law to improve access and demonstrate value for girls’ education.

Increased investment and cash backing of the education sector, to improve education and teacher quality, including instructional material for better learning outcomes. They equally demanded for strict enforcement of laws that deal with removal of girls before completion of secondary school and to promote their participation, particularly in science subjects, amongst others.

They also expect huge investment in the health sector in the areas of infrastructure, and provision of minimum of service package and facilities in all health centres and increased human resource for health.

Increased budgetary allocation for malaria and other killer diseases, health financing and timely release of funds, and improved implementation of health policy.

Provision of shelter, medical and psycho-social support to victims of gender-based violence, scale-up of positive nutrition interventions and effective implementation of nutrition policy, amongst others.

State Team Lead for, PERL, Abel Adejor, said gone are the days when public officials don’t account for resources given to them to implement projects because people in the community are not aware that such projects have been awarded in their community, this he noted was the reason many projects are not looked after.

“As the general elections are approaching, we felt it is important to focus on issue-based campaigns to engage and dialogue with political parties candidates.” He added.

On his part, Yusuf Goje of the Partnership for Issues-Based Campaign in Nigeria, said that the dialogue provided a platform for party candidates and citizens to consider issues that improve the life of the people.

He noted that issue-based campaign was designed to ensure full participation of eligible voters in the electoral process so that the majority of the electorate would elect leaders that would address their issues.

According to him, the current situation where only a few out of the eligible and registered voters participate in general elections was unacceptable, stressing that the campaign would reverse the trend through issue-based campaigns.

“We also want the party candidates and electorate to understand the current economic situation in the country so that candidates would be held accountable to the promises they made during the campaign,” he said.


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