CSOs urge inclusiveness in national policies
Coalitions of Civil Society Organisations have tasked political candidates in the 2023 general elections to involve them in the development and implementation of national policies.
They said it would help to interpret and disseminate information on policies and agenda of the candidates to the grassroots. The groups also sought for the protection of CSOs that would be involved in the general elections.
This was disclosed, yesterday, at a pre-screening of a documentary, tagged, “Untold Impact, the role of civil society in development,” supported by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Akin Fadeyi Foundation and Ford Foundation.
The Convener of ‘Untold Impact,’ Mrs Efua Edeh emphasised the need to address the disconnect between the CSOs and public knowledge of their critical role in Nigeria’s democracy and national development.
She said the Untold Impact documentary on the role of CSOs in development, was aimed at showing the impact that CSOs were making in the society. She said: “Currently, there are various perceptions of the roles of many civil society organisations. With varied perceptions of the CSOs, it creates a vacuum of distrust that will impede holistic contribution in fundraising and volunteer engagement for national development.
“The misconceptions have sometimes resulted in attacks on CSOs through physical, judicial harassment and cyberbullying among others.
“This has led to self censoring. According to the Civicus Monitor, Nigeria’s Civic Space ranking has been downgraded from obstructed to repressed, which should not be so.
“As we rapidly approach the national elections, it is important for politicians to understand the critical role of CSOs in national development. Most times, discussing the third sector is used as a talking point to promote an agenda. Since we are currently in the election season, this documentary further communicates a message to political candidates to involve CSOs in the development and implementation of national policies.”
According to her, the documentary will further sensitise the public on the importance of the CSOs, which comprise citizen’s freedom of association. She noted that when the government aligned with CSOs, it enhanced development in all sectors. The episodes in the documentary include: the role of CSOs in Education, Health, Nutrition, Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities.