Senatorial Candidates, as well as candidates for Abaji/Gwagwalada/Kwali/Kuje Federal Constituency and Abuja Municipal/Bwari Federal Constituency, discuss legislative agenda with residents of the Federal Capital Territory at Citizens’ Townhall on Legislative Elections organised by OrderPaper and partners
Nigeria’s premier/pre-eminent legislative and policy think-tank, OrderPaper Nigeria, and its partners have held a townhall for National Assembly candidates in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The event, which is the maiden Townhall meeting organised by OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative (OAI), a civil society organisation in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project by Palladium held on Monday, 5th December 2022, in Jabi, Abuja.
Although, a total of fourteen (14) candidates from different political parties seeking Senatorial and House of Representative seats were in attendance, the Senatorial Candidates of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Philip Aduda and Zakari Angulu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were, however, absent at the interactive forum.
Nine candidates running for two Federal Constituency seats in the tenth House of Representatives were present, including Lamech Abednego Salihu (Accord Party), Joel Danladi (Accord Party), Tochukwu Ubanze (All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA), Olawole Hammed Ajeigbe (African Democratic Congress, ADC), Juliet Isi Akhayere (African Democratic Congress, ADC), Gloria Okolugbo (New Nigeria Peoples’ Party, NNPP), Musa Abinlo Josiah (Social Democratic Party, SDP), Abimbola Ojeifo (Social Democratic Party, SDP), John Alphabet Ikpeme (Young Progressives Party, YPP)
The five Senatorial Candidates present at the Townhall were Abdulkarim Saulawa Yusuf (Accord Party), Obasi Paul Smith (African Democratic Congress, ADC); Ireti Kingibe (Labour Party, LP); Olanrewaju Osho (Social Democratic Party, SDP), and Enwerem Samuel Akaolisa (National Rescue Movement, NRM).
Speaking, Salihu said he would sponsor a bill that would adequately compensate the indigenes of the FCT. “The indigenes of the FCT are very disgruntled, I intend to sponsor a Bill that will adequately compensate the People of the FCT.”
On the part of the Labour Party Senatorial Candidate, “People should not be uprooted from their ancestral land but integrating them into whatever the Government wants to do.” She further emphasised gender balance by noting that women, youths and persons with disabilities deserve equal opportunities.
“Women deserve to be treated as humans, they should not be wished away. Laws are there already to make it mandatory to include persons with disabilities in everything we do, the laws are just ignored.”
For Olanrewaju Osho, Senatorial Candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), “we will come up with ‘choose your project,’ so as to prioritise projects based on the peculiarities of the communities.”
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, Oke Epia, said it has become necessary for citizens to interrogate both intending and elected lawmakers in order to achieve the gains of leadership.
“As citizens, we must begin to interrogate why lawmakers want to go to the National Assembly, is it about constituency projects? You should be able to tell the electorate why you want to go there. Whatever is said here, is not an attempt to provide a platform for anybody to campaign for himself, but an attempt to provide a platform for the electorates to engage the candidates who seek to represent them at the National Assembly.
We have been able to put together a performance appraisal report that outlines the objectives of what the lawmakers are doing at the National Assembly,” he added.