2023: PICaN Tasks Electorate To Use Social Contract In Holding Candidates Accountable

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    By; KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna

    In ensuring that candidates voted into office in 2023 ensure the welfare of the electorate, they should be convinced into signing social contracts that would hold them accountable.

    In his presentation titled, “The Imperative for Issues Based Campaigns/The Agenda,” Mr. Yusuf Goje of the Partnership for Issues-Based Campaign in Nigeria (PICaN), expressed this at a One-Day Citizens’ Engagement on the Utilisation of Identified Technology Driven Platforms for Tracking and Documenting Campaign Commitments in the 2023 Elections, held in Kaduna on Thursday September 8, 2022.

    “Most issues we pay attention to, are not the issues that impact our lives. If you don’t sign a social contract with your candidate, you are doing disservice to yourself.

    “When you have social contract with them, it would be used to hold them accountable.

    “The quality of our participation will determine the quality of leaders we have in 2023,” he said.

    Goje said that anyone coming on board in 2023 as governor in Kaduna State, should not be based on his personal ambition, but one willing to provide needs of the citizens.

    “The point we need to capture is that whatever you are going to do, how will it improve the society. Those are the things you need to pay attention to.

    “Governance is all about collective welfare of the people. As such, it is the issues that affect the people that should be prioritized.

    “All over the world, participatory democracy is what is being practiced,” he said.

    According to him, there is nothing wrong in criticizing political office holders, but however, it should be done in a constructive way.

    “The truth is that criticism is a critical aspect of democracy, but that is when it is constructive.

    “In election, it is your right to determine what the person will go and do there.

    “In your house, if you have a house help and you give him or her money to go to the market without a list, the person goes and shops sweets and chocolate instead of foodstuff, you can’t hold the person accountable because no list was handed. That is how it is with those you vote in, you must tell them what you want them to do through social contract.

    “The more we don’t pay concentration to the constitution of the country, the more we suffer. Most people who complain the 1999 constitution is the problem, have not even gone through the document.

    “As we go into 2023 election, we must first go down and study the constitution, which says sovereignty belongs to the people.

    “We have given them that power and then we come behind and complain.

    “Whatever power any person exercises is the power we delegate to them. Whether you participate in voting or you don’t participate, you have participated. Because you have not participated, is a decision,” he said.

    According to him, “We need to begin to look at how do we participate. The most dangerous human is the ignorant voter that votes for the wrong candidate, he is worse than even the bandits.

    “Like I tell people, I don’t have a candidate for 2023 yet, because none of them have told us what they have to offer.

    “You don’t get what you deserve in democracy, you get what you negotiate. We must prepare our minds. If you vote on sentiments, it is a critical thing. There are issues that affect the common man and there are issues that affect the elite. The elite will always protect their interest.

    “If you look at the bandits for example, they don’t look at people or their religion, they abduct people from any faith,” he pointed out.

    The Partnership for Issues-Based Campaign in (Nigeria PICaN) under its flagship project ‘The Agenda’ supported by the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL FCDO) organized the meeting.

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