The 1-Day meeting was organized to strategize on the campaign issues on prioritizing Anti-Corruption and Accountability issues towards the 2023 General Elections at State level in Kogi State.
The meeting had in attendance all INEC recognized Political parties, and Media Practitioners/Journalists.
The engagement featured presentations on the status and objective of the project, and the role of political parties should play in fighting Corruption and promoting Accountability by Executive Director CHRCR Idris Miliki, Impact of Political party Scorecards facilitated by the Executive Director of Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA) HAMZA ALIYU.
There were plenary discussion sessions on definition of terminologies, understanding of concepts on Accountability and Corruption, and clarification of issues around stakeholders’ responsibilities and roles in the Anti-Corruption and Accountability project
There was Question and Answer sessions during and after all sessions
The concluding component of the meeting involved the development of political party action plans towards moving the Anti-Corruption and Accountability project forward
The meeting made the following preliminary observations on issues concerning Anti-Corruption and Accountability in Nigeria in General and at State level in Kogi State:
- That Corruption went beyond demanding and taking monetary gratifications, but involves all action and inactions that goes against established laws and ethics, which promotes personal gratification against that of the general population
- Despite the increase in Media reportage on Corruption and Accountability issues, there was still gaps in information and knowledge in the citizens on Anti-Corruption and Accountability particularly on elections
- The outcomes of elections at state and national levels overtime have not been satisfactory and acceptable to the larger majority of citizens due to perceived and sometimes real issues of Corruptions in elections.
- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Kogi State has not shown commitment in mobilizing citizens for the on-going Continuous Voters Registration (CVR).
- That there has been large number of reported multiple registrants in the on-going Continuous Voter registration which is worrisome. This is as a result of poor knowledge of the procedure and implications of such actions.
- That Political corruption has had severe implications on the quality of Governance by throwing up persons with Questionable characters for elections
- Condemn the outrageous alleged expenses and monetization of party primaries and the buying and selling of votes by political parties, which has led to the highest bidder emerging as Candidates across board.
- Internal Political Party Democracies have over the years been challenging and a major stumbling block in successful elections in Nigeria due to corruption and lack of accountability in political parties.
At the end of deliberations, the participants agreed and made the following recommendations:
- Political Parties must mainstream Anti-Corruption into their manifestos and campaign messages.
- There must be strategically designed, issue-based primaries to elect Candidates in political parties to reduce the influence of money politics that lead to corruption.
- Need to increase Voters Education by Political parties especially before elections to ensure adequate awareness creation on the electoral process.
- That the Media should increase their reportage and investigation on Corruption and Accountability issues in government and non-governmental entities.
- INEC to improve on its enlightenment and stakeholders mobilization on its activities at State level to encourage citizens confidence and participation.
- There is need for more proactive measures by anti-corruption agencies in timely investigation and prosecution of political and election offenders.
- Political parties to endeavor to practice improved internal democracy especially during the conduct of their primaries, conventions and all other elections.
- Call on relevant institutions to hasten the process of establishing Electoral Offences Commission to punish electoral offenders.
- Genuine effort must be put in place to reduce the high level of Poverty in the society to discourage people from embarking on corruptive tendencies particularly on elections.
- Eligible citizens are called upon to participate in the electoral process by registering and obtaining their permanent voters Cards especially now that the process by INEC is on going before the 2023 elections.
- Participants commend the partnership between the CHRCR and CISLAC and the continuous support of MacArthur Foundation
IDRIS MILIKI ABDUL
CONCIENCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (CHRCR)
LOKOJA, KOGI STATE