SERAP, others seek increased participation in governance processes
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability (SERAP) and other stakeholders have called for increased citizens’ participation in governance processes.
They made the call in Lagos, yesterday, during a town hall meeting with the theme, ‘Promoting citizens’ participation in governance and protection of dissent’.
The aim of the meeting was to bring together a diverse range of citizen groups, such as lawyers, local government representatives, artisans, and other stakeholders to deliberate on strategies for improving the capacity of Nigerians to hold power to account and participate more broadly in governance.
Deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “The purpose of the town hall meeting is to tell citizens the rights they have in good governance, bring communities to make sure they understand what their rights are, and give them opportunity to advocate to government, as part of their contribution to governance.”
Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said it was crucial for every citizen to participate actively in governance of the country. According to him, “a healthy right for opinions and perspectives is not a threat; it is a vital component of vibrant democracy. It is through this that we can question authority and push for progress.
Therefore, it is our duty to possess and uphold the right to ensure that all citizens express their views without fear.”
A lecturer at the University of Lagos, Mrs. Olubunmi Afinowi, during her paper presentation on promoting citizens’ participation in governance and protection of dissent, said governance in Nigeria is still a problem but things could get better.
She noted: “Sadly, governance in Nigeria is a textbook case of what governance should not be, and Nigeria has all the indices of a failed state. Citizens must learn to ask questions, challenge bad policy, make meaningful contribution and collective actions.”
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