By Idris Ibrahim, Abuja.
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Center for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has facilitated an interface of politicians, social media influencers and other stakeholders to galvanize public attention on anti-corruption and accountability in governance.
The event which took place Tuesday at the Shehu Yar’adua centre in Abuja was a grueling interactive session between representatives of political parties and journalists.
Each political party represented during the interface disclosed its strategic view on how to tackle the menace of corruption and possible ways to deepen accountability in Nigeria.
The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and major contender, People’s Democratic Party(PDP) that may likely decide the 2019 presidential election failed to show up at the session.
Despite the large number of registered political parties in the country, only four parties participated at the event powered by MacArthur Foundation.
Barrister Oyelekan Akingbade, National Legal Adviser, Labour Party, Barrister Kehinde Edun National Secretary, Progressive People’s Alliance(PPA) highlighted their parties’ stand on anti-corruption ahead of the forthcoming election. They however made the day worthwhile as they expressed strong, at times divergent opinions on the issues of accountability and anti-graft war.
Comrade Mark Adebayo, National Secretary, Kowa party disclosed it party’s agenda on anti-corruption stressing that the country’s constitution needs to be reviewed.
“The biggest level of corruption is to protect the corrupt. And the systematic fraud that is killing this country is embedded in the constitution,” he said.
During his presentation Mohammad Lawal Nalado, National Chairman Accord party said the only way to curb the menace of corruption in Nigeria is for citizens should embrace the exemplary life of President Muhammadu Buhari whom he described as incorruptible.
In his remarks earlier, Dr. Tunde Akanni, chairman of the event said the country has suffered insufficient provision of social infrastructure as a result of corruption.
“Today, we are expectant of another round of general elections. The 2019 general election will provide an opportunity for everyone to place the issues of anti-corruption and accountability on the campaign agenda.
“Now is an opportunity for everyone, media professionals and politicians to come out boldly to explain to the rest of us what’s their plans are on how to tackle the menace of corruption.”
“This project (aims) at … spreading anti-corruption and accountability messages. The campaign would be done by sensitizing and mobilizing citizens towards their demands for accountability and anti-corruption by amplifying their voices to get by in of decision and policy makers in the country,” he said.
Mr. Akanni explained further how the project intends to spread the message of anticorruption and accountability through the effective use of social influencers.
“Members of the social influencers mostly individuals have been selected based on their history of involvement in social change campaign and have been engaged to generate a variety of communication, notes, messages, message formats and content to reach both political actors and citizens”
“This project is a messaging project that leverages the reach, credibility and social networking on individuals and social media influencers to deliver citizens’ demand for accountability.”