Don tasks CSOs on unrelenting advocacy for good governance

Don tasks CSOs on unrelenting advocacy for good governance

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Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Chairman, Foundation for Economic Research and Training, Prof Akpan Ekpo has advised Civil Society Organisations to embark on voracious advocacy for good governance in Nigeria.

Ekpo who was the Guest Speaker at the 1st Annual Civil Society Conference in Akwa Ibom State, with the theme: “The Civil Society and Good Governance in a democracy” organized by the Center for Human Rights & Accountability Network ( CHRAN), gave the advice while presenting a paper on Friday in Uyo.

Represented by Prof Ntiedo Umoren, Ekpo decried the rate of inflation, economic downturns, corruption, infringement on human rights, abuse of the rule of law and other socio-economic crises bedevilling Nigeria and urged the CSOs to wake up to their duties of advocating for the poor masses and engaging government to provide the basic needs of life to at least 80-85 percent of citizens.

He also harped on good followership, saying the CSOs and the followers must synergize, monitor and ensure good governance to avoid uncommon misery under democracy.

Maintaining that a docile citizenry remains a problem for ensuring good governance, the Professor challenged the people to demand their rights from governments which involve both political and economic rights.

His words, “The CSOs must always be the people’s watchdog thus ensuring that the government performs its responsibilities to the citizens. This includes the right to food, clothing, health, education, and shelter. You can never have good governance when people are poor and hungry. A visionary and transformational leader must give the people hope in a democracy. It is expected that the present leadership in Nigeria with its renewed hope agenda would ensure good governance.

“Citizens must be aware of their responsibility to demand their rights from the government – these rights are both economic and political.
Economic conditions. There is a level of poverty that frustrates citizens and inhibits them from asking for good governance. They become helpless.”

Speaking earlier, Director, CHRAN, Akwa Ibom State, Franklyn Isong, in his welcome address, explained that the conference is aimed at bringing all members of CSOs, human rights groups, CBOs, NGOs and other professional bodies from the South-South together for self-appraisal and plan on how to effectively discharge their core mandate as the watchdogs of democracy rooted in the Constitution.

He said the conference would also set an agenda for new governments in the country saying “The conference is apt. It is coming at the time when the new administrations in the Country are yet to fully commence the process of implementing their blueprints for the benefit of the citizenry.”

He also called on Governor Umo Eno to streamline the projects and programmes into a few that can easily be achieved within the tenure of his administration given the availability of funds, starting with projects that are identified as the low-hanging fruits.

Don tasks CSOs on unrelenting advocacy for good governance

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