COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE 1-DAY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS (CSOs) PARTNERS REVIEW AND STRATEGY MEETING ON PRIORITIZING ANTI-CORRUPTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES TOWARDS 2023 ELECTIONS ORGANIZED BY CONSCIENCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (CHRCR) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) HELD AT HALIMS HOTEL ON TUESDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2022.
The 1-Day meeting was organized to review the implementation of the project in the state and strategize on the next steps in the campaign on prioritizing Anti-Corruption and Accountability issues towards the 2023 General Elections at State level in Kogi State.
The meeting had in attendance Civil Society Leaders in the State, Media Practitioners/Journalists, Women groups, Faith Based Organizations, Persons with Disability, Youth based organisation, professional groups.
The engagement featured presentations on the status and objective of the project, and the roles that the Civil Society and Media should play in fighting Corruption and promoting Accountability by Executive Director CHRCR Idris Miliki, Impact of community Scorecards facilitated by the Executive Director of Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA) HAMZA ALIYU.
There were plenary discussion sessions on the Status of the project, Panel Discussion on the role of stakeholders in the Anti-corruption campaign in elections and Communique development.
There was Question and Answer sessions during and after all sessions
The meeting made the following observations on issues concerning Anti-Corruption and Accountability in Nigeria in General and at State level in Kogi State:
- That various stakeholders including Civil Society, Media and Faith Based Organizations were conducting various interventions on Anti-Corruption but there seem to be no collaboration and partnerships among them.
- That Corruption went beyond demanding and taking monetary gratifications, but involves all action and inactions that goes against established laws and ethics, which promotes personal gratification against that of the general population.
- Despite the increase in Media reportage on Corruption and Accountability issues, there was still gaps in the information on Anti-Corruption and Accountability particularly on elections at the grassroot levels
- The outcomes of elections at state and national levels overtime have not been satisfactory and acceptable to the larger majority of citizens due to perceived and sometimes real issues of Corruptions in elections.
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Kogi State has not shown commitment in mobilizing citizens and accessibility as all efforts to engage it by stakeholders has failed despite the crucial period of campaigns by political parties and Candidates towards for the 2023 general elections in Kogi State.
- There are several reports of eligible persons who have wish to Register to Vote but can no longer do so due to the closure of the registration portal.
- That Political corruption has had severe implications on the quality of Governance by throwing up persons with Questionable characters for elections
- Condemn the outrageous alleged expenses and monetization that characterize electioneering campaigns towards the 2023 elections.
- Despite several efforts and interventions by various stakeholders, there is still serious gap in incorporating Persons with Disability in electoral process.
- Internal Political Party Democracies have over the years been challenging and a major stumbling block in successful elections in Nigeria due to corruption and lack of accountability in political parties
At the end of deliberations, the participants agreed and made the following recommendations
- Partnership and Collaboration among Stakeholders implementing Anti-Corruption and Accountability activities will promote sustainability and ensure scale up and scope of success towards the 2023 Elections.
- There must be strategically designed, issue-based campaigns in elections to reduce the influence of money politics that lead to corruption.
- Need to increase Voters Education targeting groups that traditionally are not targeted (e.g Hunters, Artisans, general persons at the grass root level who are voters like every other person) especially before elections to ensure adequate awareness creation on the electoral process.
- Concerted efforts must be made to incorporate and include Persons with Disabilities taking cognizance of their peculiarities during elections.
- INEC to improve on its enlightenment and stakeholders mobilization on its activities at State level to encourage citizens confidence and participation.
- Eligible citizens are called upon to participate in the electoral process by obtaining their permanent voters Cards especially now that the process by INEC is on-going before the 2023 elections
- Participants commend the partnership between the CHRCR and CISLAC and the continuous support of MacArthur Foundation
IDRIS MILIKI ABDUL
CONCIENCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (CHRCR)
LOKOJA, KOGI STATE.