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#FixPolitics launches ‘office of the citizen’ initiative for active participation in governance

#FixPolitics launches ‘office of the citizen’ initiative for active participation in governance
November 28
20:46 2022

#FixPolitics, a civil society organisation (CSO), has launched an initiative tagged, “office of the citizen” (OOTC) to enable citizens take up active roles in governance.

The initiative was officially launched on Monday at an event that took place in Ikeja, Lagos state.

The initiative, which is the brainchild of The School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) work study group one, is a social campaign project designed to promote active citizenship.

Speaking during the event, Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former minister of education and founder of SPPG, said “monopolistic democracy” exists in Nigeria and some African countries because citizens are not empowered to take active roles in democratic processes.

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Ezekwesili defined monopolistic democracy as a situation similar to marketplace monopoly, adding that citizens must participate actively in governance to break the monopolistic tendencies of the political elite.

“The reason that we have monopolistic democracy is because we have citizens that cannot engage,” she said.

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“Our democracy is dependent on citizens that are empowered and engaged, who by virtue of knowing their power, will force competition into the democratic space so that we can then start the path of good governance.

“The office of the citizen is so important for politics because this office is the highest office in the land.

“The office of the president may be the highest political office in the land, but in terms of the constitutional realm of powers of different individuals and entities in any country, it is the citizens in the democracy that have the highest power because the legitimacy of all other offices in politics is dependent on the office of the citizens.”

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Speaking on the level of the citizens’ awareness ahead of the 2023 elections, she said there is a “phenomenal shift” in the level of awareness. 

“I think Nigerians are already coming to that place that I had prayed for so many years. Many citizens are participating in the democratic process. In the 2019 elections, we could not get citizens at the level that we are getting them now,” she added.

“We are seeing that the young and the women are all engaged. When you see people who deride the interest of Nigerians in politics saying ‘it is about social media’, don’t mind them, ignore them.”

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