Miss Oge Okeye, the National Endowment for Democracy, (NED)’s Assistance Program Officer for Africa, paid an official visit to Centre for Information Technology and Development, (CITAD), on 3rd- April-2008. Miss. Oge had a meeting with the Executive Director, CITAD, Y.Z. Ya’u as and other officers of the centre.
Issues discussed at the meeting involved; CITAD activities in promoting political awareness especially in Jigawa State, women participation in politics, CITAD’s contribution to the development political participation, it’s execution of NED program, accountability among others.
With regard to promoting political participation, the Executive Director, Y.Z. Ya’u unveiled that CITAD has formed a political sensitization team, which actively participated in creating political awareness through holding comprehensive discussions and lectures with the mass populace of Jigawa State. “Through activities like these,” according to Y.Z. Ya’u, “there has been a large turn out of voters in Jigawa State especially in contrast to with previous elections.” Further, the Director informed Miss Oge that due to the positive impact of CITAD’s team in eradicating political apathy in Jigawa State, the government in the plan to replicate the same so as to reinforce CITAD’s effort and create a democratically advantaged populace in Jigawa State.
On the gender issue and women political participation, Mrs. Fatima informed the NED’s Assistant Program Officer for Africa that in Jigawa State there is still the problem of inadequate political participation of women in politics. She added that CITAD has been trying very hard to ensure that women come out and cast their votes. Says Mrs. Fatima:
“We have been going to every nock and corner in Jigawa State, reaching out to women, educating and sensitizing them on the dividends of democracy and the important role they can play especially with their large population. Culture in this part of Nigeria does not promote women mixing freely with men, but with more sensitizations, people are now understanding the responsibilities tied around their neck, and so in the recent time there is improvement in the number of women who come out to cast their vote. The effort of CBO’s like CITAD contributed a lot.”
Miss Oge Okeye, went around the various CITAD’s units and saw their activities with satisfaction.