OrderPaper to Undergraduates: “Prioritise legislative accountability to get future you desire”

Op-ed EditorSeptember 11, 20236 min

Taiwo-Sidiq cited the failure of effective oversight and representation by African parliaments as a major contributor to the worrisome wave of coups he described as a viral infection across the continent, while urging Nigeria’s youth to take governance and accountability more seriously




Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq; Head of Innovation, OrderPaper Nigeria representing Oke Epia; the Founder/Executive Director of the parliamentary monitoring organisation at the event


Students of Nigerian tertiary institutions have been charged to prioritise the demand for accountability from their legislators as an important step in engendering good governance, sustainable development and creating a desired future for themselves.

Executive Director of OrderPaper Nigeria, Oke Epia, gave the charge on Saturday, 2nd September 2023, at Veritas University, Bwari-Abuja, during the Closing Ceremony of the 10th All-Nigeria Universities Debating Championship (ANUDC) hosted by the private institution.

Represented by OrderPaper’s Head of Innovation and Editorial, Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq, the Civic Tech Leader in a lecture titled ‘Understanding the policy matrix and the role of active citizenship,’ underscored the importance of legislature as the livewire in any representative democracy while breaking down essential legislative processes and how they affect the citizenry.


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“People don’t do what you expect, people do what you inspect,” he noted while urging youths to actively participate in oversight of the Nigerian legislature for effective service delivery and a thriving democracy. Referencing a recent poser by former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani on the success of military coups versus the failure of democracy in Africa, Taiwo-Sidiq cited the failure of effective oversight and representation by African parliaments as a major contributor to the worrisome wave of coups he described as a viral infection across the continent.

The OrderPaper Senior Programme Executive, who maintained in the passionate lecture that Africa has always faced challenges in maintaining stable democracies, explained how studies have revealed that unconstitutional change of government often arises from deficiencies in governance. He thus quoted the African Union Peace and Security Council, which listed in 2014; that greed and selfishness, mismanagement of diversity, marginalisation, human rights abuse, refusal to accept electoral defeat, manipulation of constitutions and unconstitutional reviews to serve narrow interests are key factors that lead to to coups.

“According to a 2011 article by Powell and Thyne published in the Journal of Peace Research, Africa has experienced more coups than any other continent. Out of 486 attempted or successful coups carried out around the world since 1950; Africa has seen 214, 106 of which have been successful. In fact, out of the 18 coups recorded globally since 2017, all but one – Myanmar in 2021 – have been in Africa because the continent tends to have many of the conditions that are associated with coups,” he noted.


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The parliamentary affairs analyst who hailed Nigeria’s youth for increased political participation, especially during the 2023 general elections, stressed that elections were only a means to an end, urging them to take governance more seriously.

“Elections may be over, but governance is the radar. Indeed, the task is huge, and we invite as many of you from whatever university to join our army of legislative accountability champions across the three hundred and sixty federal constituencies of the county who are better known as Active Citizens Engaging the Legislature (ACEs) and are represented in this auditorium today. Together, we can play a pivotal role in shaping a more accountable and responsive legislature.

U.S. researchers have found that the strength of a country’s civil society, the legitimacy conferred on a government by its population, and a nation’s coup’s history are strong predictors of coups. Thankfully, we have a strong civil society in Nigeria and you, as an active citizen, hold an important place in that matrix,” Taiwo-Sidiq stressed.

He thus highlighted initiatives like OrderPaper’s Annual Appraisal of National Assembly members and Stewardship Tracking for Accountable Representation (STAR) by Citizens aimed at empowering citizens to monitor the fulfilment of their lawmaking responsibilities and legislative agenda.



READ ALSO: OrderPaper congratulates NASS Presiding Officers, tasks Members on accountable service delivery 


The gathering of undergraduate debaters from about twenty public and private universities, academics, played host to public speakers, heads of key parastatals like the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Joint Admission and Matriculation Boards (JAMB), principal officers of Veritas University and the media.

A high point of the week-long championship, which ran from August 27 to September 3, 2023, was the presentation of an Award of Excellence to OrderPaper’s Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq at the Closing Ceremony in recognition of the organisation’s unwavering commitment to advancing legislative accountability and civic engagement. 



OrderPaper is Nigeria’s foremost independent parliamentary monitoring organisation and policy think tank, bridging the gap between people and parliament. Driven by a vision to become the most authoritative organisation of choice and reference for parliamentary reporting, advocacy and public policy advisory in Africa. This it does through the provision of simple and authoritative parliamentary data that empowers citizens to take action and enable informed decision-making by public and private entities.


Op-ed Editor

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