“Are You Satisfied”, this was the subject matter or caption made by Prof. Abolade Adeniji, the Lead Speaker at the “Citizens’ Conversation with Elected Public Officials programme organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) held at Best Western Hotel, Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos State on April 6th, 2017.
Prof. Adeniji stated that Nigerians are not short of knowledge when it comes to recognizing the myriad of problems confronting the nation. What has been missing he said, is proffering credible solutions and having the will to execute them. He went further to outline the elements that make good governance and stressed the need for holding public officers accountable as follows:
- Getting to know our Representatives.
- Putting our concerns into writing.
- Resist the temptation to collect gratification upfront before voting for Candidate(s).
- Report and work with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) when necessary and finally, Citizens should form Localised pressure groups.
These are the practical ways by which elected officers can be held to their oath of office if people can be proactive and resist the temptation to be passive while hoping for some celestial intervention to better their lot, he said.
Prof. Adeniji thanked and acknowledged the timely organization of the programme by National Orientation Agency and its partner Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
In his opening remarks, the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA) represented by Director, Political Civic Ethics and Values Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoba, cautioned that NOA and KAS created the platform as an accountability forum to enable elected public officials account for their stewardship as well as have the citizens ask questions that will enhance their trust in the public office holders.
The NOA Director General urged elected officials to note the yearnings of the people as put forward during the interactive session and reflect same in their workings. He said both the leader and the lead yearn for a positive change and urged them “to let that Change begin with each of us so that Nigeria will move to greatness”.
In her goodwill message, the former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinotu Ojikutu thanked NOA for being apt in organizing the conversation forum and urged that it should be sustained. Also the representative of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Ali Balogun, from the office of Civic Engagement, and the representative of the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Wahab Jimoh commended the NOA and KAS in sensitizing the people on the proper way to checkmate public office holders. The representative of the Body of Sole Administrators in the State, Hon. Olumide Olayomi, from Apapa-Iganmu Local Government Area, gave a broad account of their activities in the state.
The Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State, Mr. Waheed Ishola in welcoming the people, noted that relevant stakeholders had been effectively mobilized for the realization of the objective of the event.
The successful event had a broad spectrum of stakeholders from the academia, market men and women, Civil Society Organizations, Youth Bodies, Honourable members of the State House Assembly, Party Chieftains, Local Government officials, Community Development Associations, Royal Fathers, Religious Bodies, NYSC and Para-military Organisations amongst others in attendance.