By Prince Okafor & Joseph Oso
Ahead of next year’s election, the founder and co-chair Fixpolitics a non partisan initiative, Dr Mrs Oby Ezekwesili has said that it is time to correct the Nigeria’s politics and also put an end to monopolist democracy.
She affirmed that if monopolist democracy is tackled, it will lead to a greater and favourable Nigeria.
Dr. Ezekwesili while speaking with news men at the just concluded ‘Office of the Citizen (OOTC) Activation Event’ with the theme: The Power of One People said the initiative was brought up after series of research shows that African politics not excluding Nigeria politics are not willing to serve its citizens.
She said “It is very clear that we needed to start correcting our politics because being in politics is not necessarily an important thing I should be doing now. The important thing is making sure that the electorate are engaged and powered, making sure that there is a massive size of people who have be trained to be ethical, to be competent, to be capable as politicians and making sure that the society works together to demand for a regulatory environment in which politics and democracy happens’’.
‘’Doing these things corrects your politics. I ran for political positions and I saw how it was like to enter into a politics that is not a corrected politics. So now, the most important use of my life is to work with others to correct the politics so that young people can enter into and have the actual kind of opportunity that is necessary to correct governance in our nation.”
Ezekwesili also expressed her happiness in the area of the hunger and passion of citizens’ participation towards democratic process. She said in today’s democracy, both the old, and the young are all engaged towards agitating for a better Nigeria.
‘’ There is a phenomenon shift in the engagement of the political process because the apathy and the lethargy of the Nigerian citizen was what enabled the political class to be monopolist in our democracy.
‘’with the current drive for a better democracy, that monopoly will gradually break and with this kind of initiative, it will further the quality of engagement of the citizens in order to break democracy from being a monopolist in our country and continent to be competitive because a competitive democracy is what leads to better quality of governance of the citizens in our country’’ she adeed.
She also emphasized that the fact young people are volunteering to be part of the political process is already an expression of the office of the citizen.
Business Growth Strategist, Coordinating Chair, Fixpolitics Tito Aderoju said One major idea of the office of the citizens is to enlighten citizens on the power that they have.
Aderoju said ‘’Many times they think that their vote doesn’t count and yet people are buying these votes. Nobody buys goods for nothing. So the idea is to encourage citizens to get their pvc and go out and vote and vote credible candidates, good leaders.
Office of the citizens is bridging the knowledge gap between what they know and the citizens know as well. We are also enlightening them that even when they are selecting good leaders and those people are in office you can hold them responsible’’.
Executive director, Fixpolitics, Anthony ubani also stated that the major intention of the initiative is to ensure that the nation’s democracy is able to stand the way it ought to stand.
He said ‘’for a nation to be great, for a nation to be developed, it begins from the citizens. It begins from having empowered citizens, it begins from having enlightened citizens, it begins from having educated citizens, and it begins from having informed citizens.
“It begins with citizens who can go to the polls and understand what it means to be able to effectively access those who are competing and select their candidate not on the basis of their stomach, money, religion or tribe.
“Citizens needs to understand that if they fail to be active politically and as well fail to go out to vote it means they have created a room for any incompetent person to become their leaders. So whatever we want to do to reform or transform Nigeria to become a better place it must necessarily begin with educating, enlightening and empowering our citizen’’. He added.