CSO Urges Media to Adequately Showcase National Assembly Candidates to Electorates

By Paschal Emeka, Abuja | February 23, 2023

Barely few days to the National Assembly elections, a Civil Society Organization, CSO, known as Order Paper Advocacy Initiative has tasked media practitioners in the country to beam their searchlights on all the 469 members contesting   for the Senate and the House of Representatives in the forthcoming elections so as to present them to the electorates.

Speaking during a press conference with members of the House of Representatives Press Corps in Abuja, at the National Assembly Complex, the Executive Director of the CSO, Okeh Epia observed that there  is an increased appetite by citizens to cast their votes adding that some electorates  are not appropriately informed about the legislative elections as well as duties and obligations of lawmakers.

According to Epia, “we have candidates basically who did not articulate what they intend to do for the people shortly  after the election.”

He informed that his Initiative has  been tracking all the  candidates from different political parties  disclosing that it is  disheartening to reveal to the world that most of them do not know why they want to represent their constituents  at the National Assembly either at the Green Chambers or the Red Chambers.

The CSO further disclosed that among the  candidates contesting to represent their constituents in National Assembly,  only 0.3% understand the core mandate of the legislative  arm of government.

The group further wondered why some  candidates contesting for the legislative offices  will promise in their electioneering campaigns to alter the Abuja masterplan as well as  build roads to his constituents.

They group  further informed that they have  decided to brief the press in order to share basic data with them which could help citizens made an informed decision on who to vote for in the election.

In his address, the Director of HipCity Media, Bassey Bassey  explained that Abuja City and residents should be overly concerned on what is happening at legislature adding that several state Houses of Assembly look up to National Assembly as a model

“City residents should have enough knowledge on whom to vote for. They need to know the people they are sending to the National Assembly to represent them.

“While there appears to be an increasing awareness among Nigerians about the National Assembly Elections, a lot of elegible voters do not know these candidates; moreso, research shows that about 0.23% of the lawmakers have nothing close to an articulated manifesto.

“In four months time from now, the 10th National Assembly will be inagurated and it is therefore noteworthy to state that this year’s National Assembly is holding on the eve of the 25th Anniversary; the call is for Nigerians to pay more attention to know the real functions of their lawmakers, which is lawmaking, oversight and representation”.

The Senior Programme Executive Officer, Order Paper Advocacy Initiative, Mr Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq in his comments emphasized the importance of credibility for those contesting for legislative positions.

According to him, ” Candidates contesting for legislative offices must be elected on the basis of individual merits instead of following the bandwagon”.

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