The Omudodu Youth Foundation (OYF) has presented Nigeria’s first Social Contract Document designed as an agreement between the citizens and the elected officials.
Charles Oputa, popularly known as ‘Charly Boy – Area Fada’, who presented the document in Abuja, said that it will be a commitment for the citizens to vote, ensure that their votes are counted and hold elected officials accountable to their campaign promises.
Oputa added that it will be a commitment to transparency and accountability in fulfilling campaign promises made to the citizens by the government and those seeking election into offices.
The foundation said that until the vast majority of Nigerians, especially the electorate and voting population were able to understand and reconstruct their engagement with the democratic process as the “real owners” of government and the Nigerian project, people’s participation and commitment to the electoral and political processes would continue to depreciate.
“Before elections and the electoral process are concluded, it is important that the people are able to enter into a form of social contract with the political class who are always eager to govern them. This is the contract we need and not voter enslavement through vote buying.
“It is in line with the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, that the Social Contract is being proposed as a model for reviewing and determining the commitment of politicians and political parties in the Nigerian polity.
“With this Social Contract initiative, we intend to improve citizens’ participation in the democratic process as well as increase the trust of the electorates in Nigeria’s electoral process,” he also said.
On the history behind the initiative, Oputa said: “When we started the Nigerian Social Contract Initiative in June 2018, we realized that there was insufficient information on youth and citizens’ knowledge and engagement with the social contract as a tool for promoting good governance in Nigeria. This propelled us to conduct a survey to obtain baseline information about citizens’ knowledge of social contract and their level of engagement with government, using available spaces and legal frameworks, to demand accountability and good governance.
“Consequently, Our Movement, with support from the Ford Foundation and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) (Youth Alive Foundation) embarked on opinion surveys across the country, using questionnaires and also through town hall engagement to gather information on the knowledge of the social contract among citizens.
“The survey was conducted in four states in Nigeria namely; Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and Rivers States, involving a total of 1,866 respondents including youths, persons with disabilities, opinion moulders across the board, and others. However, the town halls were in Abuja and Lagos State.
“It is important to note that the informative findings from our research have reinforced our intention to prioritize building capacity and sensitizing the Nigerian citizens on advocacy techniques and other ways in which citizens can engage the government. Also, we believe, that these findings would bring a lot of relevance to the Nigerian Social Contract Initiative (NSCI) project.”
The Nigerian Social Contract Initiative, loosely translated as NaWeBeGovernment, is an initiative of the Omudodu Youths Foundation aka OurMumuDonDo Movement, designed to enlighten the citizens about Nigeria’s democratic process as well as transfer the ownership of the democratic process to the citizens, thereby enabling them to engender accountable democracy.
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