With just about 90 days to the all-important 2023 general elections, Nigeria’s premier/pre-eminent legislative and policy think-tank, OrderPaper Nigeria, and its partners are set to hold its first-ever Citizens’ Townhall on Legislative Elections.
The event, which will play host to stakeholders in nation-building, will feature National Assembly Candidates for the two House of Representatives seats and a lone Senatorial seat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
All 18 registered political parties with valid candidates for the legislative polls have been invited to the event. The town hall debate thus presents an opportunity for the mandate seekers to showcase their legislative agenda ahead of the February 25, 2023, elections and answer pertinent questions on a wide range of subjects, especially concerning constituents’ interests.
It is scheduled to hold on Monday, 5th December 2022, at Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja.
OrderPaper is hosting the event in collaboration with civil society partners, including FixPolitics Initiative, Enough is Enough (EiE), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA). It is being implemented as part of the VOTER (Validating the Office of The Electorate on Representation) Project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project by Palladium.
The organisers describe the event as part of their drive to encourage proper scrutiny of legislative candidates, with the aim of electing productive legislators integral to effective service delivery by government.
They add that Nigeria’s electoral system, as it is currently structured, encourages a bandwagon effect whereby legislative candidates are largely elected based on their alignment with popular executive candidates. They say this is not necessarily on their merit, thus greatly affecting the quality of representation in our legislature.
Speaking at the event, Oke Epia, Executive Director of OrderPaper, disclosed that the initiative has become imperative given the important decisions for citizens to make in the 2023 elections.
“For us at OrderPaper and our esteemed partners, we believe in the legislature being the foremost of the three branches of Government in a representative democracy. Having also been at the forefront of putting the spotlight on the institution of parliament for nearly ten years now, and (of course) with numerous endorsements, we consider it a call to duty to put this pilot series together for constituents resident in the Nigerian capital,” he said.