Citizens’ Actions: The Need to Engage your Elected Representatives! –Ishola Adebayo

May 26, 2017

The beginning of good governance which is the responsibility of all arms and all the tiers of government is openness, engagement and transparency. It does not matter what else we try to do as long as one arm of government shrouds its activities, administration and management in opaqueness and practices rife with corruption. Only very little, if anything at all, can be achieved in pulling Nigeria on the path of sustainable and enduring democratic system, development and progress if Nigerian politicians continue with this trend.

It is no more news that, the member of the House of Representatives representing Bosso and Paiko Federal Constituency of Niger State, Salihu Adamu was beaten into a coma by aggrieved youths of his constituency. The youths accused him of not attending political meetings since he was elected about two years ago.

Still on this trajectory of Citizens’ Actions, angry youths attacked Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari, the Senator representing Katsina South, Abu Ibrahim and a member of the House of Representatives representing Bakori/Danja Federal Constituency, Amir Tukur on April 15, 2017. They were attacked at a political event organized by the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Funtua, Katsina.

Governance without engagement they say will be a mockery of democracy. Active youths protested the lack of support for the Federal Government’s anti-graft war by the lawmakers representing Niger State on April 18, 2017. The aggrieved youths vowed to initiate the recall process for all the Senators from the State if they failed to support the Federal Government’s anti-graft war.

It is in the light of demands for active citizens to continually engage with elected public officials, voters under the aegis of the Concerned Citizens of Northern Kaduna Senatorial District have initiated moves to recall their Senator, Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi. They petitioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to request that a referendum be conducted to recall the Senator. The voters explained that the recall process was initiated as a result of their loss of confidence in his ability to represent their interests at the National Assembly.

Active Citizens’ can identify and engage with their representatives by texting ‘SYE’ & your ‘Polling Unit Number (top left corner of your voters card) to 20050. Example: Send SYE 24/10/07/03 to 20050.

Citizens can also recall their legislators if dissatisfied with their conduct and performance. Visit: bit.ly/RecallProcess to understand how to recall your legislator.

Rather than result to unrest and heating up the polity, Active Citizens’ should begin to organize themselves in a more civil manner and not agonize. Engage with your elected representatives through Phone Call, SMS, Email or Town Hall Meetings.

Ask questions anywhere and everywhere!