The failure of democracy and governance in Nigeria has been attributed to the apathy and laziness of Nigerians toward the electoral process, according to Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former minister of education in Nigeria and the founder of the #FixPolitics movement. Ezekwesili who was at Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday for the inauguration of the Office of The Citizen (OOTC) campaign.
Concerning Nigeria’s democracy, she said that the situation has resulted in a monopoly political elite.”The political elite was monopolistic in our democracy because of the apathy and laziness of Nigerians, but that monopoly will now gradually open up.” She did, however, express optimism that the process would become more transparent as a result of more voter involvement.
According to the former minister, the Office of The Citizen was established to further increase people’s quality of engagement in order to promote responsive leadership and prevent Nigeria from having a monopoly on democracy.She added that Africa and Nigeria couldn’t possibly overcome their obstacles and achieve her desired political result without altering the method used to find leaders for the intended role.
Furthermore, she emphasized that “what we are doing today is to further emphasize the level of involvement that citizens must have in order to shatter democracy’s monopoly in our nation and continent and make it really competitive.
“A competitive democracy is what produces greater citizen governance, and we know that without quality governance, our democracy cannot advance.”
The goal of establishing OOTC before the 2023 general election, according to Bolatito Adeniyi-Aderoju, the chairwoman of Work Study Group 1, was to enlighten Nigerians and the electorate about their rights and the importance of making informed voting decisions. “The purpose of the Office of The Citizen is to inform people of their rights. They frequently believe that their votes won’t matter, yet they continue to buy their ballots.
“Nobody purchases anything for free. The goal is to persuade people to obtain their PVCs, cast their ballots, and choose honorable candidates who will make good leaders.”
“Office of The Citizens is bridging the information gap between what the citizens know and knowing that; even when they are selecting good leaders and all those people are in office you can hold them accountable,” says the organization.
The goal of the OOTC, according to Anthony Ubani, executive director of #FixPolitics, is to strive toward having informed, educated, and empowered citizens before the general election in 2023. As the originator of #FixPolitics stated, “Today is incredibly crucial; we have a three-point agenda to ensure that our democracy stands as it should be. “The first in that pillar is what we call empowered and engaged citizens,” says Ubani. The second is the ability for transformational, value-based leaders to develop. The third is to overhaul the legal system and the constitution.
The OOTC campaign is a three-month initiative that would inform and inspire Nigerians to exercise their civic responsibilities and select the most qualified candidates for the general election in 2023. From November 2022 to January 2023, Abuja and Lagos will host this campaign.